Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine encourages more Ohio children to enroll in Ohio’s Imagination Library Program as a new documentary about Imagination Library founder Dolly Parton premiered Wednesday.

“The Library That Dolly Built” is a behind-the-scenes look at the Imagination Library Program country music singer Dolly Parton started in 1995 to encourage reading to preschool children.

In 2019, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program partnered with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to spread the program throughout Ohio. Partnerships and funding have been established in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, so that all children who enroll – from birth to age 5 – can receive a free book in the mail each month to help accelerate their development.

“Dolly Parton and her dedication to children’s literacy and this program is so inspiring,” said Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. “We share a belief that the gift of reading is one of the best things you can give a child. We are proud of all the partners in Ohio that have ensured that every single eligible Ohio child can receive these books every month.”  

Ohio lawmakers provided $5 million in funding to match county funds so that these books ($2.10 each) are provided at no cost to Ohio families. Nonprofit organizations in each county administer the program.

Currently 255,672 Ohio children younger than age 5, or 35 percent of eligible children, receive the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library books. Nearly 2 million children worldwide receive free monthly books from the Imagination Library.

“The Library That Dolly Built” can be viewed at Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Facebook page: Facebook.com/dollysimaginationlibrary.

For more information about the film, visit www.imaginationlibrary.com/film. To enroll children, parents and caregivers can sign up at OhioImaginationLibrary.org.