Imagination Library mails one new, age appropriate book each month to any Knox County child from birth until age five at no cost to the family.
Imagination Library books arrive in the child's name and are theirs to keep, read and enjoy. We welcome every child from birth to age 5 in every Knox County family to participate. We encourage parents to enroll siblings so that each child can receive their own book in the mail.
About Imagination Library
Who pays for the books?
Books are paid for by a variety of donations from foundations, corporations, grants and donors like you!
Knox County Imagination Library is administered through Knox County Public Library. Our local Board of Advisors raises funds for half the cost of books and mailing ($210,000 annually), promotes the program and registers children.
The Governor's Books from Birth Foundation covers the other half of books and mailing in all 95 Tennessee counties, and it serves local organizers by providing fundraising, public relations, and other support.
The Dollywood Foundation manages operational details of the program in over 700 communities, including book selection for the Library, price negotiation, and distribution logistics.
The Great Cake Bake Annual Fundraiser
Cake decorators, sugar enthusiasts and artists of the buttercream pulled out all the stops and created a sugary vision to benefit a great purpose-The Knox County Imagination Library.
More information about this annual fundraiser can be found here.
How it began
Dolly Parton knows that reading to young children is the best way to prepare them for school and for life. That's why she started the Imagination Library. In 1996, she began sending books in the mail to the young children of Sevier County regardless of their family's income.
Since then, she and The Governor's Books from Birth Foundation have expanded the program to the entire state of Tennessee. In Knox County, we're very proud that almost 18,000 children look forward to receiving their book every month. That's over 67% of all eligible children!
How does it work?
Step 1: Register
Parents must register each child under five in their family. Signing up online is the easiest and quickest way to enroll, or you may complete a paper registration form. Forms are available for download in English or Spanish, for pick up at any Knox County Public Library location, or call 215-8743 to request to have one mailed to you.
Step 2. Read
Reading with your child every day is one of the best ways to prepare him for success in school and in life. Your child's first book will arrive in 6-10 weeks. After the initial wait, your child will receive a book every month until he or she turns 5!
Step 3: Keep Your Address Updated
Parents must update their address each time they move. Books are not forwarded with the mail. Use our handy online change of address form or call 215-8743 to keep us posted with your most up-to-date contact information.
If you have questions about your child's account, registration or address please contact Imagination Library Administrative Assistant, at 865-215-8743 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you!
- Bonny Naugher, Chair
- John Beckett
- Mary Pom Claiborne
- Keith Goodwin
- Scott Griswold
- Crissy Haslam*
- Angie Howell
- Dr. Joe Johnson*
- Rob Johnson
- Christie Knapper
- Katharine Killen
- Rosa Mar
- Pace McCamy
- Dee Pickell
- Suzanne Prince
- Avice Evans Reid
- Dr. Deanna Yen
*Honorary Lifetime Board Members
Ex Officio Member: Holly Kizer, Imagination Library Coordinator
Request a Brochure
Share the word about Imagination Library. We welcome you or your organization to join our community of people dedicated to early literacy! We are happy to send you brochures that you may distribute or use to enroll the children of Knox County in Imagination Library. To request brochures please e-mail email@example.com or call 865-215-8784.
Request a Speaker
If you'd like someone to speak to your community group or organization please call 215-8784 or e-mail Holly Kizer at HKizer@knoxlib.org.