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Imagination Library of Louisville

Inspire a Love of Reading in Louisville Children

Our Mission

Imagination Library of Louisville’s mission is to provide a free monthly book to Louisville children from birth to age five to foster a love of reading and prepare children for kindergarten.

We believe that by improving early education in our community, we can contribute to the lifelong success of Jefferson County kids.

Our Impact in Louisville

Books Gifted
Children Currently Registered
Children Graduated

Our Impact Since 2016

Books Gifted
Children Currently Registered
Children Graduated

Our Story

Spreading the magic of reading and discovery.

Imagination Library of Louisville was founded in 2016 through a partnership between the Junior League of Louisville, WAVE 3 News, and the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation.

Our co-founder, Bill Shory, had experienced the magic of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through his daughter’s participation in the program while they were living in Tennessee.

After moving to Kentucky and discovering that Imagination Library was not available in Louisville, he and co-founder Laurel Mallory used their connections at WAVE and the Junior League to recruit a small but mighty team of volunteers who started the Imagination Library of Louisville. 

Imagination Library of Louisville mails a free, monthly book to children from birth to age five in Louisville to help children develop a love of reading and get ready for kindergarten.

We believe that by improving early education in our community, we can contribute to the lifelong success of Jefferson County kids. 

In 2022 we mailed our 100,000th book and we continue to grow. Thanks to recent funding from Louisville Metro Government, Imagination Library is now available to every child under five in Jefferson County!

Read more about us.

Kentucky's Investment

Kentucky is on the path for Imagination Library to become a statewide program.

In 2022, the Kentucky General Assembly allocated funds to support Imagination Library statewide and the state budget now covers half the cost of every book mailed to a Kentucky child.

This investment has enabled Imagination Library of Louisville to reach more children and allowed our donors to double their impact!

We are grateful to former State Senator Morgan McGarvey, his colleagues in the Kentucky Legislature, and Governor Andy Beshear for supporting early education in a big way.

Inspire a Love of Reading for Life

We believe that by improving early education in our community, we can contribute to the lifelong success of Jefferson County kids.

Don't Just Take It from Us

“As a champion of early education, we are proud to support Imagination Library of Louisville and to help them get more books into the hands of more children across Louisville.”

The Gheens Foundation

“Anything that gets more books into our community is a great thing. We love having books come to our kids and Imagination Library of Louisville has been an incredible partner.” 

Jennie Jean Davidson
Executive Director, Neighborhood House

“Imagination Library has introduced so many diverse books to our home. Many have become our favorites to read over and over.  We are so thankful for them and look forward to the mail every month!”

Amanda W.
Imagination Library Parent

How to Register

Here's the deal. Every child under five years old in Jefferson County can register to receive one free book per month mailed to their home until their 5th birthday.

Step 1

Follow the link and fill out the form on the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library website.

Step 2

Make sure all the information is correct so we can reach you and send the books to the correct location. If you prefer not to register online, simply follow this link to find your local affiliate.

Step 3

Wait 6–8 weeks for your child to receive his/her first book.

Step 4

Continue nurturing a lifelong love of reading! We’ll send one book in the mail each month until your child reaches his/her fifth birthday.

It's that simple.

Which Books Will My Child Receive?

How it works: Every registered child receives a free, high quality, age appropriate book mailed to their home with their name on it every month until their fifth birthday.

Book selection is a big deal! A committee of child literacy experts meet in the fall to select the books for the following year.

A variety of factors are considered including diversity and representation, the text and story, illustrations, subject matter, learning objectives, etc.

Two books out of every year are dual language (in English and Spanish) and one is non-fiction.

Books are age appropriate so siblings get different books each month that facilitate developmentally appropriate learning.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. There is never any charge to receive books from Imagination Library. Your child’s information is confidential and will never be used for anything other than the mailing of books.

No! Your child’s Imagination Library books are theirs to keep.

No. Families of all economic backgrounds are welcome to sign up free of charge. We want to get every single child in Louisville excited about reading by mailing them their own books every month.

Our organization is now a standalone 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  We’ve received grants from numerous organizations, such as WAVE3, the PNC Foundation, the Gheens Foundation and many more.  We’ve also received many donations from individuals – including some in honor of personal milestones or in memory of people who have passed. You can contribute on our Give page.  Contributions are tax-deductible.

Still have a question? Send us a message.

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"You can never get enough books into the hands of enough children."