Imagination Library of Allegany County

Allegany County Board of Education, Allegany County Human Resource Development Commission, Allegany County Library System, the Community Trust Foundation, the County United Way and the YMCA-Gilchrist Center has partnered to sponsor the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for Allegany County. The program provides a free, age-appropriate book each month to registered children from birth to their 5th birthday.

  • The program is free to all kids birth to their 5th birthday who live in Allegany County
  • The books are mailed each month directly to the child at his or her home
  • There is no eligibility income. The program is free regardless of ability to pay.

Imagine the magic when children run to kindergarten bookshelves, pick up a familiar book and say “I have this book!” and then other children in the classroom say “me too!” Teachers tell us this level of shared experience and vocabulary makes a world of difference in the success of our schools. For the first time since the inception of the Imagination Library of Allegany County, the Allegany County Board of Education has been able to check the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) scores of children who received the Imagination Library books against those children who are not enrolled in the program. Of the 221 tested (that received the IL books) 44% scored “Demonstrated Readiness”. These students exceeded the state score of 43% by 1% but, more importantly they exceeded their peers who did not participate in the Imagination Library by 6% (44% vs. 38%).


Families can enroll their child online or ask for a brochure by calling 301-722-2700.


  • Reading books help essential brain development, with 90% of eventual adult brain growth achieved the first three ears of a child’s life
  • A child develops language skills long before being able to speak, literacy skills long before they are able to read, and reading books help develop healthy physical and emotional responses
  • Helps ensure children enter kindergarten with a strong ability to read and an eagerness to learn
  • Strengthens the literacy level in our community
  • Promotes parent-child interaction and bonding
  • DPIL communities report families read more to their children, reading scores have improved, children are excited and better prepared to go to school
  • Early childhood literacy will provide one of the best “return of investment” we can get.


Registration for the program has greatly outpaced our projections and budget. Please consider making a donation to support postage to mail books, provided by the Dollywood Foundation, for one or more child(ren) or just make a general donation. It costs $30 a year to cover the cost of postage for one child….$150 for five years. Donations to the Imagination Library of Allegany County make great baby shower gifts and birthday gifts.

To make a donation specific to the Imagination Library of Allegany County, please click below.