Families in Taylor County are now receiving their first free books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Funded by the United Way of Abilene, as part of their Built by Books initiative, households with young children are being gifted with free and quality children’s books to help grow their own personal libraries.
Originally started in 1995 through the Dollywood Foundation, the mission of this program is to foster a love of reading in children and families. In May 2023, the United Way of Abilene made this initiative available to all Taylor County families with children between the ages of 0-5. Simply register online and once accepted into the program you’ll begin to receive your free monthly children’s book through the mail. Please note, it will take 6-8 weeks before you receive your first book after registering. Your household will continue to receive them until your child reaches the age of 5, or you move out of the participating area.
More than 211 million books have been gifted through this program since it began, allowing families to build personal libraries for their children at home. Having started in the United States, this service also extends to families in Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia through local partners.
The Abilene community is certainly a place that values literacy, and your library is thrilled to partner with the United Way to promote this service to the families we serve. Register Online or visit the library and staff will be happy to assist you in the process. It only takes a few minutes to do so to be able to gift your child with a number of free books to help them grow into lifelong readers. As stated by the United Way, “we believe that early literacy is important to the success of a child and Imagination Library will be an instrumental tool in providing literacy opportunities during vital years of development.