The program is currently located in over   40 communities across Australia.

How can I find out which areas are covered?

Each Imagination Library program is funded by the community for a certain number of children to receive free books monthly,therefore there are limited spaces available each year.

I’d like to enroll but my area is not covered

You can register to be placed on our waitlist by clicking here, and will be notified you’re your community is supported.

I’m moving house; will I be able to continue receiving books?

The coordinator of your area will advise you whether your new area is funded. You can email your coordinator directly here.

How do I update you with my new address?

You can update your address in the parents log in areathis will be sent to your coordinator for approval. If you don’t have access to the portal please email the coordinator of your Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Please be advised that it will take between 4-8 weeks for the next book to arrive at your new address due to our advance ordering system.

I’ve forgotten my password, how do I reset it?

You can reset your password in the parents log in area.

I have a new email address, how do I change it?

Please contact your local coordinator if you have changed the email address you used when enrolling, so you continue receiving resources.

I have recently updated my address but have not received my book?

Due to advance ordering the distribution list for the upcoming month has already generated with your previous address, and will be updated for subsequent mail outs. In the case that your mail is not redirected, your book will be sent back to the coordinator of your area. Please allow a wait time between 4-8 weeks for books to start receiving books to your new address.

I’ve not received books after initial waiting period, what do I do?

Please contact the coordinator where you originally signed up to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

I have a friend/family member who lives in my suburb and would like to join the Imagination Library, how can they join?

Your friend/family member will need to register their child by clicking here. The coordinator of the area will be able to advise if there are spaces available or if they are to be placed on a waitlist.

What books will I receive?

The current 2016 book list can be found here . Please note that titles may change due to stock availability.

I have twins, will I receive different books?

There are six individually selected titles per month to cater for a child from newborn to age 5, with a total of 72 books in all.  At this stage there is no capacity to include a second book each month for each age group to cater to extra children in the same birth year. Therefore, they can opt to have one book to share or to receive one for each.

I have received duplicate books for my younger child, is this correct?

If siblings are a year apart the younger child will receive the same books the next year. The book list is agreed on for two years at a time, and changes approximately 20% of the titles (In 2015 it was approximately 50%).

Can I track my books?

To keep the postage and program costs down books are not tracked, however you will be advised of the date of pick up by Australia Post through the parent online portal.

When will my next book be delivered?

Each month books are picked up by Australia Post around the 10th of the month, with an estimated delivery date of by 15th of each month.

When will I receive the newsletter? 

Your monthly e-news will be distributed at around about the same time or after your book arrives.

I have received a newsletter but not my book, when is it arriving?

The book is on its way and will shortly arrive shortly. You can login to your parent portal to see what date the book has been picked up by Australia Post.

I have been on the program for a while and haven’t been receiving books for several months now?

Please contact your local coordinator to let them know if you have moved address recently or reconfirm your address. If your address has not changed please provide an alternative secure address.

My book was damaged in the post, what do I do?

If it is an ongoing occurrence you will need to advise your local post office, and/or let us know an alternative address for your mail. On a per case basis a coordinator may be able to provide you with an alternative available book for your child’s age group.

I received a book that is not suitable for my child (gender, age), how do I resolve this?

You can provide feedback here.



Why is United Way investing in the Imagination Library?

Around 750,000 children in Australia begin school without the skills to take off on the learning adventure.  These skills include higher order thinking skills like the ability to concentrate, understand simple stories, predict outcomes; basic skills like recognising shapes, colours, numbers, using a pen and understanding rhyme; and emotional/relational skills like imagining how others feel, participating in a discussion etc.

Without these skills, children easily fall behind and statistics show they’re unlikely to catch up.  88% of children who are poor readers in Year 1 remain poor readers in Year 4.  Right now, 46% of Australians have a Year 8 literacy level and 30% of parents don’t read to their children.  In this way the cycle of low literacy and disengagement from education continues.

Who can enrol to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?

The program is open to any child under the age of 5 years (with a cut off date of 4 years and 6 months) within your area. As the coordinator of your area, you may decide on an enrolment strategy of enrolling newborns or enrolments through a service provider.

Where do the books come from and who chooses them?

The range of picture books are supplied by Penguin Books Australia, Dolly Parton Imagination Library’s publishing partner, and have been carefully chosen by our panel of early childhood literacy experts for their age appropriateness and potential to engage the child in reading with their parent or carer.

Who provides the supporting resources for parents to help them engage their children with the books?

Simple, creative ideas about how to read with children are prepared by the team at United Way Australia and supplied with each book.  Resources will be available online, via social media (Facebook & Twitter) as well as posted to parents.

 How do I order the monthly books that get sent to the children each month?

Dollywood Foundation has created a Book Ordering System (BOS) database for your use. You may add enrolments at any time throughout the month, these will be placed on the next distribution list at the next monthly process.

 How much does it cost to run an Imagination Library?

 The cost of running an Imagination Library will depend on the amount of families you would like to support and the length of time you anticipate running the program. To discuss your plans and request an application pack you can reach our DPIL coordinator at: read@unitedway.com.au or on 02 9321 0300.

What is the process of book ordering?

Each month the Book Ordering System database will close off around the 4th of the month. All children enrolled prior to close will be included on the distribution for the following month.

For example, a child is enrolled on 8th July, distribution list is generated 4th August for September delivery to homes. This gives enough lead time for ordering and packing of books.

 I have questions about using the BOS system

Please consult your BOS guide and FAQ within the BOS database before lodging a ticket with your technical support contact provided in your manual. Your enquiry will be answered usually within 2-3 working days.

 What is a ‘welcome book’?

The first  book mailed in the program is known as a ‘welcome’ book. The 2016 welcome book is “Where is the green sheep?”. Each new enrolment is set with  ‘Y’ to receive this book in their first distribution.

Can I order books to promote my Imagination Library?

A promo pack of 30 titles can be purchased from United Way by emailing read@unitedway.com.au with your full details. Please note there is a lead time of 4-6 weeks due to stock availability.


Why read to children before starting school?

Without early literacy  skills, children easily fall behind and statistics show they’re unlikely to catch up.  88% of children who are poor readers in Year 1 remain poor readers in Year 4. Simply sitting with your child and reading to them regularly is the single best way to build these vital skills!

How does providing books in homes from 0-5 achieve change?

Some of the skills necessary for success at school are learnt in formal preschool settings.  However, one of the most effective ways for children to develop the skills they’ll need right throughout school is to simply sit with a  trusted adult and read together.  Good readers engage attention, encourage curiosity, foster relational skills and model a love of books and learning.  And they start reading to children as soon as they’re born.

The Imagination Library recognises that parents with poor literacy skills are less likely to buy books, visit libraries or read with their children. In response to this, children enrolled in the Imagination Library from birth through to their fifth birthday receive a monthly book by post along with simple supporting ideas about how parents can creatively engage their children in the books.  Reminders about daily reading and its benefits as well as tips on the process are also delivered to parents by social media.

In short, providing parents with the resources and support to engage in reading activities with their children is one of the most effective ways of overcoming early disadvantage. You can read more about how Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is creating change in Australian communities here.

How are books provided free to children?

A partnership between United Way Australia and Penguin Books enables quality books and literacy resources to be delivered for a monthly fee (from $7.50 for 2016). Community Partners then fundraise enough money to make the program freely available to every child in their community. So for families, there’s just free books, reading tips, and literacy resources!

Who is United Way Australia?

United Way Australia is a non-profit organisation working to ensure that every child has the chance to reach their full potential. United Way Australia is not affiliated with any political parties, government agencies or religious groups.


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