Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Ivey kicks-off statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Ivey announced her intent to participate in the Imagination Library during her 2023 inaugural address.

Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday kicked-off the statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, during an official launch event. The Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting free books each month to children birth to age 5.

Ivey announced her intent to participate in the Imagination Library during her 2023 inaugural address and followed up with Executive Order 729 to that effect.

Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Acting Secretary Dr. Jan Hume, elected officials, community leaders and partners, parents, teachers and Alabama’s youngest learners joined Ivey to officially launch the statewide program, while Dolly Parton herself made a virtual appearance during the event.

Held on National Book Lovers Day, Ivey began the event by recognizing the significance of reading proficiency.

“No matter what a child grows up to be, reading proficiently is simply critical. No doubt, learning to read begins at home. Parents are our first teachers, after all,” Ivey said.“It is really important that our parents start reading to our children when they’re just babies. And we must encourage our children to open books during their earliest developmental stages.

“This program – through the state and community support – will help to eventually ensure every child in Alabama can receive books directly to their homes each month after they are born until 5 years of age … Our goal is to bring this program to all 67 counties, and we are well on our way to making that a reality.”

As a statewide program, the goal is to establish local programs in all 67 counties, cultivating new partnerships to help fund and support local program partners. Local program partners and affiliates must be a 501c3, which includes businesses, school districts, libraries, local foundations and others.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Currently, Alabama’s program has 55 operation local program partners covering portions of Alabama’s 67 counties. Over 40,000 eligible children in the state are currently receiving free books through these programs.

“I’m so excited to help announce that my Imagination Library is coming to Alabama,” Parton said. “A lot of good people have worked to make our Imagination Library dream for Alabama a reality, but I want to send my very special thanks to Gov. Kay Ivey for her leadership in making this happen.”

The Imagination Library of Alabama expansion will focus on finding community partners to start new Imagination Library programs to reach more children and families, increasing registration in existing Imagination Library programs in the state.

“We know that reading aloud to children can positively impact their brain development, so having the opportunity to provide free books to parents and children across the state is priceless,” said Dr. Jan Hume, acting secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. “We will continue to work hard until we have Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in all 67 counties in Alabama.”

To learn more about becoming a community partner, contact Kahla Williams at [email protected].

To enroll in this program and learn more as it is expanded across the state, visit

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

More from APR


More than 3,000 Alabama small businesses will no longer be required to pay monthly estimated sales taxes.


During each visit, Ivey emphasized the importance of literacy and celebrated student achievement.


Since 1972, the fourth Saturday in September has been designated as National Hunting and Fishing Day.


"That area is so important to our state and does not have four-lane access to the interstate," Ivey said.