Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

The Scottish Government Dolly Parton Imagination Library logo

We’ve got great news for all of Scotland’s younger looked after children. It has recently been announced by The Scottish Government that looked after children up to the age of five will get a FREE book every month until their fifth birthday!

The books are being provided by a programme called The Imagination Library, which was set up by country and western superstar Dolly Parton, as part of her Dollywood Foundation. 

Each of the country’s 3,341 looked after children will build up their own personal library of up to 60 books, improving their literacy and encouraging their parents and carers to read with them.

There is a set cost of £2 per book which includes postage and packaging costs. The Scottish Government will meet these costs through a grant to Scottish Book Trust. The Dollywood Foundation will handle the ordering, labelling and registration process so that each child receives the right book for their age, delivered directly to them.

The books for the Imagination Library programme will be selected by an independent committee of experts in the field of childhood development, literacy and education, with a Scottish expert set to join the panel later this year.

Click here to read the full press release


Background to Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was developed in 1995 by Dolly for her hometown of Sevier County, Tennessee. She wanted to give every pre-school child their own library of books. The scheme was such a success that other communities asked to join and it has now gone on to become an award-winning international programme. Around 30 million books have now been mailed to children in over 1300 communities across the world.

For a clear definition of what 'looked after children' means, please visit the Scottish Government's website. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Early Years team on    

Further Information

Keep an eye on this page for further updates about the project, or sign up to Scottish Book Trust's Newsletter, which provides you with the latest news about all of our programmes.