The Rotary Club of Camrose has partnered with the Camrose Public Library to offer the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Camrose families.
The program sends new, quality books to young children, newborn to 5-years-old, once a month. The books are mailed, addressed to the child, so the children can look forward to watching for their arrival, and understand that the books are theirs. Children enrolled in the program at birth receive at total of 60 books.
A short video that introduces the project can be viewed here.
Highlights of a slideshow the club prepared describes the program. Some excerpts:
  • The Dolly Parton Imagination Library was created in 1995, and while it started in a local county in Tennessee, it has now grown throughout the US, Canada and the UK.
  • The program currently sends out over 1.5 million, high-quality books every month, and since the start of the program has delivered over 167 million books.
  • In Canada, there are 300 community partnerships in 10 provinces and three territories.
  • The books are paid for by the local partner (Rotary Club of Camrose), while the Dolly Parton Foundation pays for all the overhead, employee salaries, etc.
  • All local funding goes toward the books and delivery.
  • By providing books to children, the child's interest in reading is increased, parents read more to their children, and the children are better prepared for school.
  • The books being delivered directly to the child at their home creates an "event" that the children look forward to. It also promotes sharing and interaction and helps to promote a connection between the child and the caregiver(s) other family members and siblings, strengthening the home environment.
  • Books are high quality, age-specific and selected by a committee of specialists. In 2020, 42 of 60 books offered were Canadian titles.
  • Local partners, like the Rotary Club of Camrose, are responsible for raising funds to support the program. While the program should be open to everyone regardless of income class, the sponsoring club can place limits on the number of participants. It is possible to start a pilot program. The Camrose program has no restrictions but is limiting the program at 100 children enrolled.
  • Information collected about the child (Name, Address and Birth date) is stored in a secure database provided by the Dolly Parton Foundation.