Pictured in the County Library, Tallaght, at the launch of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library were Rosena Hand Tallaght Senior Executive Librarian, Councillor Charlie O’Connor and Marian Quinn the CEO of Childhood Development Initiative.

 

Dolly Parton charity launches free book programme for children under five in Tallaght. Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Cllr Mark Ward, launched the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in County Library, Tallaght on Thursday, 14 February. Dolly Parton’s dream to get children to develop a love of books and reading early in life has been launched in Ireland – as her charity teams up with local partners to announce a free book-gifting programme. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) works with local partners to gift books to young children across the world –making new books available free to all children aged up to five years who live in the Dublin 24 area.

 

“I am delighted to launch a different type of library – the Dolly Parton Imagination Library”, said Mayor Ward. “This is the first time that the Imagination Library has been offered in Ireland. It is being piloted in Tallaght under the coordination of the Childhood Development Initiative, a Tallaght-based prevention and early intervention organisation. A working group has been established to promote the initiative including South Dublin Libraries, public health nurses and health and education services. Shamrock Rovers Football Club will also help to promote the programme. An Post have committed to free postage of the books for one year, and the programme also enjoys the support of the Dublin Rotary Club.”

 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is already active in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia making Ireland the fifth country in which it is being delivered. Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton started the Imagination Library in 1995. Today the programme mails over 1.3 million free books each month. Once registered with the programme, the child will receive a free book in the post every month until they are five years old. The books will be addressed to the child and posted directly to their home. It is available to all children in each household in Dublin 24 and siblings will get different age-appropriate books. The programme was launched on Thursday 14 February at the South Dublin County Council Library in Tallaght and warmly welcomed by County Library Tallaght, Senior Executive Librarian, Rosena Hand who said: “South Dublin Libraries is delighted to support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Dublin 24. It is never too early to start reading to your child. The children’s delight in receiving their free books can be continued by joining their local library which has a wealth of free resources to help them continue to enjoy books and reading!”

 

CDI Chief Executive Marian Quinn encouraged parents to register. “I am really delighted that the Imagination Library is coming to Ireland. We aim to reach 3,200 children with 21,600 books in Dublin 24 in the first year alone. Our aim is to then scale up to other parts of the country.” Parents of children who reside in Dublin 24 can register through the Childhood Development Initiative website at https://www.cdi.ie/what-we-offer/imaginationlibrary/