You may know her as The Smoky Mountain Songbird, The Backwoods Barbie, The Iron Butterfly, or The Queen of Nashville, but there is a reason Dolly Parton is known by many as The Book Lady. For over 20 years, the country music star has been giving books to children in need, and just this week, Parton donated her 100 millionth book.
Founded in 1995, Parton’s nonprofit Imagination Library sends free books to children in participating communities all over the world. The book-gifting organization mails age-appropriate titles to young readers from birth until they start Kindergarten, regardless of family income. Within its first 10 years, Imagination Library sent 1 million books. Tuesday, at a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Parton presented the 100 millionth book her organization has given away.
Today we dedicate the 100 Millionth @DollysLibrary Book to the @librarycongress! I always like to say that 100 million books have led to 100 million stories. #100MillionBooks https://t.co/KxUJp0nP20 pic.twitter.com/LVhYeTCVGp
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) February 27, 2018
“I always like to say that 100 million books have led to 100 million stories,” Parton said during the event. “I am so honored that our little program is now grown to such a point that we can partner with the Library of Congress to bring even more stories to children across the country.”
The special presentation of Parton’s 100 millionth donation also served as a fitting kick off event for a new initiative between the singer’s Imagination Library and the Library of Congress. For six months starting in March, the Library’s Young Readers Center will host a monthly reading program, not just for children in the Washington, D.C., area, but all over the country. The story time, which will feature music and special guests, will be live-streamed and shared with libraries across the U.S.
Parton shared the special presentation and story time, where she read from her children’s book Coat of Many Colors, on her Facebook page.