HomeGet InvolvedWelcome to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library












United Way Australia believes every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential.  With 22% Australian kids starting school ‘developmentally vulnerable’, we all have a role to play in improving early learning outcomes in Australia.

That’s why we licensed Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a community-based program providing 0-5 year old children with free home-delivered books and parent/carer literacy resources each month.



It’s easy to get involved, whether you’re a parent or carer (register your child or access literacy resources) or community organisation (start an Imagination Library to improve early literacy in your community).

Started by musician and author Dolly Parton in the USA in 1996, more than 70 million books have since been distributed so far, including 200,000+ books to 11,000+ kids across Australia. Read about the impact it has had so far. Explore our website to find out more!

Early literacy changes lives

Something as simple as reading to a child from an early age can dramatically improve their literacy skills, so they’re ready to learn to read when they start school and succeed in later life. The research is clear:

  • the period from birth to age 5 is critical for brain and language development
  • literacy skills do not develop automatically and
  • more books in the home = better educational outcomes for children.

Find out more.

Patsy Huggins and Rosie“My daughter can’t wait to receive her book. She loves the surprise and re-reads it constantly” Parent, NSW

“It just made us more as a family unit, with my husband especially… it has brought us closer together” Parent, SA

“We’ve been so impressed with the results… one of the most worthwhile local projects in which our club has been involved” Noble Park Rotary Club, VIC

“We know this is having an impact on early literacy levels. We see it in the children’s progress at school” School principal, VIC

Read more about how Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is making a positive difference to children in Australian communities.







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