Dolly Parton's free book scheme reaches out to more children in the UK

Written by: Karen Faux
8 November 2018

The global book gifting programme, which was originally set up by Dolly in her hometown in Tennessee as a tribute to her father, has appointed a new strategic leader to drive growth in the UK.

Founded in 1996, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a not-for-profit organisation that gifts over a million books each month by post to children from birth to five in the US, Canada, Australia and UK. 

In a bid to reach more participating communities in the UK, Imagination Library has now appointed Marion Gillooly as strategic leader. Most recently Marion was head of strategic development and innovation for Includem, a charity based in Glasgow, which provides children and young people with relationship support.

Since its launch in Rotherham 10 years ago, the scheme has established itself in several towns and cities nationwide including Luton and Nottingham, sponsored by local authorities, businesses, housing associations, nurseries and non-profit organisations.

Currently 40,000 children in the UK are enrolled and receive a book in the post every month.

Check out our classic authors series, with EYFS linked activities linked to their favourite titles:

Jeff Conyers, president of the Imagination Library, said: ‘The investment in Marion to lead our talented team reflects our enthusiasm and commitment to take advantage of the many opportunities before us to expand the programme across the UK.’ 

Dolly Parton herself is right behind the move: ‘I’m so proud of what the Imagination Library has done here. I hand delivered the millionth UK book back in 2014. Now we’ve delivered over 2.8 million books to over 100,000 children. It's my dream that every child has a library of books which their parents can read to them from the day they are born.’ 

Find out if the scheme runs in your area here


Keep up to date with Early Years!

Sign up for our newsletter and keep up to date with Early Years education, process and events! We promise we won't spam you!