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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library receives award from Library of Congress

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library received the $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize from the Library of Congress Thursday, spokespersons with the organization announced.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 3:35 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library received the $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize from the Library of Congress Thursday, spokespersons with the organization announced.

The literacy program, nicknamed “the little program that could,” has delivered more than 160 million books to children worldwide, the announcement said. The program now delivers 1.8 million books to children five-years-old and younger every month.

Parton herself visited the Library of Congress in February to enshrine the program’s 100 millionth book, an adaptation of a Dolly song called “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.”

“Since 2014 when the Imagination Library received ‘best practice’ recognition from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards, the Dollywood Foundation has strategically positioned the Imagination Library for aggressive growth,” a release from the Library of Congress said. “Although mailing the books to each child’s home is only one aspect of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, it is a remarkable feat that helps improve literacy on an international scale and creates special moments for children and families.”

The award is named after David M. Rubenstein, a major benefactor of the Library of Congress and the chairman of the Library’s lead donor group, the James Madison Council.

“We are grateful to win what truly is the most prestigious award from the Library of Congress. This award showcases how the dream Dolly had years ago has become one of the world’s largest book gifting programs,” said Jeff Conyers, Dollywood Foundation president. “She continues to express her pride in what the Imagination Library has become, and she is excited for the growth it is poised to experience moving forward. There is no doubt Dolly treasures being called ‘The Book Lady’ more than just about anything.”

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