PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--From its infancy in Sevier County, Tennessee, to the largest children’s literacy program in the world, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has introduced millions of children around the globe to the fun of reading. Yesterday, Parton herself enshrined the 100-millionth book distributed in the program’s existence into the Library of Congress.
In addition to the extraordinary moment for Parton, the Imagination Library and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced a monthly reading program for young readers at the Library of Congress.
“I always like to say that 100 million books have led to 100 million stories,” Parton said. “I am so honored that our little program has now grown to such a point that we can partner with the Library of Congress to bring even more stories to children across the country.”
From March to August, the library will host story time in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building the last Friday of each month. Each story time will feature the reading of a book for readers up to age 5, music and special guests. The programs also will be livestreamed so children and parents anywhere with an internet connection can join the fun. The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, has more than 160 million items catalogued.
Fittingly, the 100-millionth book from the Imagination Library is Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors. Written by Parton, the book is an adaptation of her iconic song of the same name. Both the book and the song encourage children—and adults—to look past superficial appearances to the true heart of an individual. Much like the amazing legacy of her Imagination Library, Parton used her humble childhood upbringing as motivation for a career of accomplishments that are without equal.
The Imagination Library, which now distributes 1 million books every month, mails free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
“Dolly Parton’s work through her Imagination Library is awe-inspiring,” Hayden said. “They have counted the number of books given away – 100 million, but there is no way to truly quantify the impact this program has had on developing young readers across America and in other parts of the world. This is an extraordinary gift to humankind. The Library of Congress shares this passion for developing young readers and I am so pleased to announce these cooperative programs, which will provide an opportunity for children anywhere to connect with a fun, engaging reading experience.”
The story times will take place the last Friday of each month for six months March through August. The events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
About the Library of Congress: The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.