Dolly Parton’s Visit to Delaware

ICYMI: Governor Carney, First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, Dr. Annie Norman Welcomed Dolly Parton to Delaware for the Imagination Library Statewide Celebration

1,005 Delaware Children Signed Up in One Week

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, and Dr. Annie Norman of the Delaware Libraries on Thursday welcomed American icon Dolly Parton for a statewide celebration of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library surrounded by public librarians and library staff, reading and early education advocates, superintendents, principals, members of the General Assembly and members of the Cabinet. This event was a celebration that every child in Delaware from birth to age five, is eligible to enroll in this free book-gifting program.

Since the public announcement of Dolly’s arrival in Delaware last week, more than 1,000 Delaware children have been signed up for the Imagination Library. As of last week, over 21,000 Delaware children are enrolled in the program.

Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton started her Imagination Library in 1995 to foster a love of reading for the children within her home county. Today, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is the world’s preeminent early childhood book-gifting program that is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading. In partnership with local affiliate partners, the program mails high quality, age-appropriate books to children from birth to age five – at no cost to families.  Over 2 million books are mailed each month in five countries –every 1.4 seconds a book is mailed.

“The Imagination Library has deepened Dolly Parton’s legacy in the most meaningful possible way, through service to our children,” said Governor John Carney. “Thank you to Dolly Parton and her team for coming to Delaware to celebrate the Imagination Library of Delaware program, and thanks to Dr. Norman, my wife Tracey, and the amazing partners across the state that have made this program a success.”

In Delaware, every child under the age of five is eligible to receive a gift of a monthly book at no charge to families. Families can sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library on Delaware Libraries’ website:

“With gratitude to all the partners, it is my privilege to serve as the honorary chair of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Delaware,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “The Imagination Library books are a wonderful collection and I’m grateful I’ve been able to read them with young Delawareans since the program’s inception. I look forward to seeing more Delaware families sign up for this incredible program.”

“Delaware Libraries are delighted to facilitate Imagination Library for our youngest Delawareans and their families,” said Dr. Annie Norman, State Librarian. “Acquiring the reading and library habit early is a foundation for curiosity and success throughout life!”

To view Thursday’s event, visit Governor Carney’s YouTube channel here.

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. In partnership with local community affiliates, the program has gifted well over 180 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland.

Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton started her Imagination Library in 1995 to foster a love of reading for the children within her home county. Today, her program mails over 2 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month directly to children’s homes.  Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month until their fifth birthday – at no cost to families.  The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit