Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Celebrates 25th Anniversary
United Way of Pettis County and The Dollywood Foundation are presenting a free one-night-only live streaming world premiere event for The Library That Dolly Built, a behind-the-scenes look at Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Originally scheduled as a nationwide live event on more than 300 screens this spring, the world premiere for The Library That Dolly Built has been re-imagined as a free live stream screening of the film, exclusively on Facebook, available nationally on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. The screening will be followed by a conversation with, and live acoustic performance, by Dolly Parton. Viewers can tune into the live screening and conversation on FB.ME/dollysimaginationlibrary and ImaginationLibrary.com.
Parton created the Imagination Library to inspire a love for books and reading amongst the nation’s preschool children. Since inception in 1995, the Imagination Library has grown into a global endeavor and recently hit a new milestone, gifting its 150 millionth book. The Imagination Library is currently gifting books to 1.7 million children around the world each month.
Dolly Parton said, "I am so excited that we can finally tell the whole story of the Imagination Library. It is certainly not just about me. Our story is the story of children, of families and communities who all share the dream to inspire kids to love to read and to love to learn. My hope is this documentary will encourage more towns, more states and even more countries to jump onboard. One thing is for sure, I think this is the best investment I have ever made."
Catterina Riddle, United Way of Pettis County Executive Director, stated, “In July 2019, we introduced Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to Pettis County. Currently, United Way of Pettis County has 697 children enrolled in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. United Way of Pettis County covers the expense for all Pettis County qualifying children ages 0-5 because we understand that giving children access to books allows for supported cognitive development, preparation for academic success, and improved imagination and creativity."
The Library That Dolly Built, directed and produced by journalism professor and director of Land Grant Films Nick Geidner, and narrated by Danica McKellar, goes behind the scenes of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to show how one of the most famous and beloved performers in the world has partnered with thousands of local community organizations to develop an efficient and effective program for spreading the love of reading.
\magination Library started as a gift for the children in Dolly’s hometown, Sevierville, Tennessee, and is now active in all 50 states, and 5 countries, gifting 1.7 million free, age-appropriate books to children every month. The film also provides a glimpse of the profound impact the Imagination Library has on the people through original interviews with authors, policymakers, Imagination Library staff, recipients, and the legend herself, Dolly Parton.
Woven throughout the film is a biographical sketch of Dolly Parton, featuring rare photos and films from her childhood. Unlike most biographies of Dolly, it doesn’t focus on her music. Instead, it demonstrates that at every point in her career, any time she has had success, Dolly Parton has come back to Sevierville to give back to her people.