Governor Carney, First Lady Tracey Carney and Dr. Annie Norman hosted Dolly Parton in Delaware for the Imagination Library Statewide Celebration

May 9, 2022

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney and Dr. Annie Norman of Delaware Libraries hosted American icon Dolly Parton on Thursday for a statewide celebration of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library [] surrounded by public librarians and library staff, reading and early education advocates, superintendents, directors, members of the General Assembly and members of Cabinet. This event was a celebration that every Delaware child from birth to age five is eligible to enroll in this free book donation program.

Since the public announcement of Dolly’s arrival in Delaware last week, more than 1,000 Delaware children have signed up for the Imagination Library. As of last week, more than 21,000 Delaware children have enrolled in the program.

Singer DOLLY PARTON signs a copy of The Imagination Library book during an event to celebrate Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library on Thursday, May 05, 2022 at the Wilmington Public Library in Wilmington, DE. Photo by Saquan Stimpson

Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton started her Imagination Library in 1995 to foster a love of reading among children in her home county. Today, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library [] is the world’s largest early childhood book donation program dedicated to inspiring a love of reading. In partnership with local affiliate partners, the program sends out high-quality, age-appropriate books for children from birth to five years old – at no cost to families. More than 2 million books are sent each month to five countries – every 1.4 seconds a book is sent.

Governor JOHN CARNEY delivers remarks to members of the public during an event to celebrate Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Thursday, May 05, 2022 at the Wilmington Public Library in Wilmington, DE. Photo by Saquan Stimpson

“The Imagination Library has deepened Dolly Parton’s legacy in the most meaningful way possible, serving our children,” said Governor John Carney. “Thank you to Dolly Parton and her team for coming to Delaware to celebrate the Imagination Library of Delaware program, and thank you to Dr. Norman, my wife Tracey, and the amazing partners across the state who make this program a hit.”

In Delaware, every child under age five can receive a free monthly book as a gift for families. Families can register for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library at the Delaware Libraries website: []

“With gratitude to all partners, I have the privilege of being the honorary chair of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Delaware,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “The books in the Imagination Library are a wonderful collection and I’ve been grateful to have been able to read them with young Delawareans since the program’s inception. I look forward to seeing more Delaware families enroll in this amazing program.

“Delaware Libraries is thrilled to facilitate imaginative library for our youngest Delawares and their families,” said Dr. Annie Norman, State Librarian. “Building the habit of reading and the library early is the foundation for lifelong curiosity and success!”


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