Imagination Library positively impacts children

TROY — Miami County parents overwhelmingly believe their children are more interested in reading as a result of books provided by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, according to a survey of local parents conducted in September of 2022.

Parents are raving about the program, a press release on the program said.

“My daughter is obsessed with books,” one parent said in the survey. “Her interest in reading, looking at pictures, and following my finger while I read are early literacy skills my daughter now has at a very young age. It has also increased her vocabulary!”

Dolly Parton launched Imagination Library in Tennessee in 1995 and the Troy-Miami County Public Library launched the program for Miami County children in 2014. Children enrolled in Imagination Library receive one high-quality, age-appropriate book by mail each month until their fifth birthday.

Approximately 64% of all children under the age of 5 in Miami County are currently enrolled in the program and receive books by mail each month at no cost and more than 42,000 books have been sent to Miami County children this year. The program is funded by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio, CenterPoint Energy Foundation, United Way of Miami County, area foundations and community residents.

“We are pleased to be the catalyst providing this program to more than 4,000 children in Miami County,” said Library Director Rachelle Via, in the release. “A book-filled home has benefits beyond reading. In addition to positively impacting future academic growth, reading expands a child’s horizon while also providing them with quality time with a parent or care giver.”

Almost 800 families responded to the survey from all areas of the county. Less than 50% read to their child every day prior to enrolling in the Imagination Library program. However more than 70% read to their child every day since enrolling. Of the remaining 30%, more than 20% read to their child a few times a week since enrolling.

The survey also showed that 96% believe the program has made their child more interested in reading and 94% believe their child will be better prepared for school as a result of the program.

“Receiving a new book every month really helps with providing a variety of stories that I may not have picked out,” one parent responded, according to the release.

Parents also report their children are learning specific skills from Imagination Library books including colors, letters, sight words, numbers, shapes, rhyming, opposites, memorization, empathy, increased imagination, increased attention span and how to listen.

To learn more about the program, or to sign a child up, please visit can sign their children up at www.ohioimaginationlibrary.org.