Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Cuts Costs, Improves Delivery

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Cuts Costs, Improves Delivery

Posted: 12/08/2009
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library will begin delivering soft cover books to some of the 17,000 children enrolled in Knox County beginning January 2010. The change from hard cover to soft cover allows the program to save money in both the cost of the books as well as in postage. At the same time, the more flexible books will enable mail carriers to more consistently deliver books to smaller mailboxes.

"We invested a great deal of time in making this decision including an extensive discussion with the local sponsors across the USA, Canada and United Kingdom," says David Dotson, President of The Dollywood Foundation. "At the end of the day, everyone agreed that moving in this direction will save significant dollars without compromising quality."

The first and last books that all enrolled children receive will still be hardcover books; and the youngest children in the program will still receive boardbooks designed for their age.

Imagination Library provides a free, quality book each month to any Knox County child from birth to age five. Books are addressed to the child and are delivered directly to their mailbox. Each book is carefully selected by a "blue ribbon" team of literacy and child development experts.

Knox County's Imagination Library mails books to 73% of the eligible population - over 17,000 books per month - leading the nation in the percentage of registered children among urban counties. The program, which is administered by Knox County Public Library, has now mailed over 600,000 books to more than 31,000 children since January 2005, giving kids access to the high-quality children's literature that can help them develop a passion for reading and help them enter school ready to succeed. The Governor's Books from Birth Foundation provides 50% of the funding for all Tennessee communities in Imagination Library, with the balance being raised by the local board that supports Imagination Library.

For more information, please call 865-215-8784 or visit www.knoxlib.org/imaginationlibrary.