Hospital News

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library


What is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program?

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income.

Though children up to age five can be signed up at any time, UPMC Western Maryland offers to enroll all Allegany County newborns upon delivery at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The process at UPMC Western Maryland is handled by Post-Partum Unit Secretary Ruby Adams. “The new mothers are always very excited about this,” Ruby said.

Information on the Imagination Library is given to the family at the same time that Ruby reviews the child’s birth certificate with the family. If they are interested in taking advantage of the program, Ruby helps them register on the spot and even mails in their completed registration form. Soon after they arrive home, the first book will be delivered.

The program has a significant educational impact on children and has inspired hope for their future success.

The program has been a huge success at UPMC Western Maryland for several years running. “Almost everyone takes advantage of this,” Ruby said. “We’ve heard that the books are very nice and of high quality.” The program works so well, in fact, that repeat parents are eager for their newest additions to begin receiving books just as their previous children have.

“I learned about the Imagination Library while I was pregnant with my first son. I actually registered him for the program while I was in the hospital. I did the same for my second son as well,” said Mary Varano of Frostburg. “It has been an absolute delight receiving an age-appropriate book for each boy every month.”

Mary noted that titles her boys have received and enjoy range from classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar to new favorites like Little Excavator. “We’ve read Little Excavator so much that I may actually need to purchase a new copy,” she said.

“The Imagination Library includes books from a variety of perspectives, so my children are learning about different cultures and different kinds of people as they develop their love of reading. My boys look forward to the books every month. I can barely unpack the books before they’re whisked by one of the boys,” Mary added. “I hope every caregiver in Allegany County takes advantage of the amazing resource that Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides. These books open up new worlds and ideas for children and are wonderful to read together.”

140 Imagination Library Participants In Allegany County Entered Kindergarten Fully Ready* *According to Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Composite Scores