Imagination Library

Imagination Library


What is the Imagination Library?

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort to benefit the children of her home county in east Tennessee. Dolly wanted to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. She wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income. So she decided to mail a brand new, age appropriate book each month to every child under 5 in Sevier County. With the arrival of every child’s first book, the classic The Little Engine That Could ™, every child could now experience the joy of finding their very own book in their mail box. These moments continue each month until the child turns 5—and in their very last month in the program they receive Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come. The Imagination Library was so successful, that it is now an international program. In 2008, the Lee County Partnership for Children launched the Lee County Imagination Library to provide a monthly FREE book to registered children, under age five, living in Lee County. It is available to ALL children who are residents of Lee County from birth to age five. Each child will receive one age-appropriate book per month until his/her fifth birthday, after registration is complete.

What are the Benefits?

The Lee County Imagination Library inspires children to read so that they can be productive members of society. It sounds too simple to be true, but reading regularly with your child, beginning at birth, provides your child with a HUGE boost towards success! Reading with your child regularly - even before they can read - gives them a boost towards a successful education. Imagination Library will have your child looking forward to reading adventures with you.

Who Qualifies?

Children under age five that live in Lee County, NC

What do parents have to do?

  • Be a resident of Lee County
  • Submit an official registration form, completely filled out by parent or guardian.
  • Notify Lee County Partnership for Children, 919.774.9496, any time your address changes.
  • Read with your child!

How do I register my child?

Click HERE to Register. Complete the application in the link above and mail to 143 Chatham Street, Sanford NC, 27330.  Your child will be enrolled as soon as possible and you will receive email notification when enrollment is confirmed.

When Will I Receive Books?

Eight to ten weeks after your registration form has been received. They should continue to arrive until your child turns five, or you move out of Lee County.

What if I Move to a New Address?

You must first complete a "Change of Address" form at the post office or online and then contact our office and let us know the change in address. We can be reached at 919.774.9496 or via email at

How is Imagination Library Funded?

Lee County's Dolly Parton Imagination Library is available at no cost to ALL children in Lee County under the age of five.  To date the program has been completely community funded through local donations, pledges, and grants from individuals and/or organizations.   In order sustain this program for all of Lee County’s young children, we must continue to have community support from local individuals, businesses and organizations.

How Can I Help?

You can help by sponsoring at least one child for a year. A gift of $30 will provide 12 books for one child. You can send a check to our office, 143 Chatham St., Sanford, NC 27330 or by donating online.