More than 186 million free books have been mailed since Parton launched it in 1995.
Dolly Parton never imagined her book giveaway program would amount to much more than helping children in her native Sevier County, Tennessee, learn to read.
- But over the past 27 years, millions of young children across the globe have enjoyed a free “Dolly book” every month.
Driving the news: The entertainment icon visited Columbus yesterday to promote her Imagination Library program and thank county sponsors from all over the state.
- Her appearance alongside Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine also served as a celebration — Ohio now has the most enrollees of any U.S. state.
- The governor also declared Aug. 9 “Dolly Parton Day.”
Why it matters: Few government programs are as universally praised as the Imagination Library, which mails free books to Ohio children ages 0-5.
- And few celebrities are as universally beloved as Dolly, a self-described lover of reading who takes pride in being known by younger generations not as a country music icon, but as “The Book Lady.”