On February 2, 2023

 Imagination Library at Rutland Free Library celebrates second anniversary

RUTLAND—Since the Imagination Library at Rutland Free Library program began on Feb. 1, 2021, an astounding 7,352 (and still counting) free age-appropriate books have been mailed out to children, from birth through their 5th birthdays, living in Rutland City, Rutland Town, Mendon, Tinmouth, and Ira. Approximately 400 books are distributed per month.

The Imagination Library was founded by Dolly Parton in 1995, inspired by her father. She said he was “one of the smartest people she knew but had never learned to read.” 

Through Parton’s philanthropy and the support of many others, this program has now gifted almost 198,000,000 books worldwide; 1 in 10 children age 5 and under in the United States receive a book from the Imagination Library.

As Parton put so aptly, “You can never get enough books into the hands of children.”

According to Joan Gamble, local program champion, “This program would not be sustainable without our dedicated band of volunteers, the Rutland Free Library, the generous support from Rutland City Schools, organizations like the United Way and Rotary, as well as individuals who have contributed.”

This free program is accessible to all children (birth-til their 5th birthday) who reside in the towns served by the Rutland Free Library. 

Gamble added, “The Imagination Library wants this to be a shared experience among children of all backgrounds and income levels.”

There is a team of experts made up of librarians, Kindergarten teachers, and child psychologists, who carefully curate the high-quality collection of books to ensure they are suitable for each age group, being especially mindful of diversity and inclusion. The books are mailed directly to the children at no cost to the families.

Registering for the program is easy. Parents and caregivers can register online at rutlandfree.org/imagine or visit the Rutland Free Library on 9 Court Street, and do it in person. To learn more about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library or register online visit: ImaginationLibrary.com.

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