A group that brings the Imagination Library to their county undertakes to register
children aged birth to five years, so those children may receive each month in the
mail, free-of-charge, an age appropriate book.  After a child reaches five years of
age, he or she may no longer receive the books.  
The Little Engine that Could is the
first book in the series to be mailed and the last one is about kindergarten.
What is the Imagination Library?
How did the Imagination Library begin?
In 1996 Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library for the children in Sevier
County.  She sought to foster a love of reading among pre-schoolers.

In May 2004, Tennessee Governor Bredesen created the Governor’s Books from
Birth Foundation (GBBF) to serve as a catalyst and tangible resource to local leaders
seeking to establish their own countywide Imagination Library program.  The
Governor's Books from Birth Foundation staff is charged with raising state-wide
funds, administering the Imagination Library state-wide, and providing support,
training and resources to county efforts.  To assist in the county-wide efforts, the
Governor obtained funds from the Tennessee General Assembly to provide dollar-for-
dollar matching funds.
How does the Imagination Library operate in Sequatchie County?
The Sequatchie County Friends of the Library agreed to serve as the lead non-profit
organization in the County for the Imagination Library. Its members raised funding
to provide this service to children and its members visits schools, family fairs, and
the like to register children.  All counties are eligible for funds from the GBBF, but
any organization sponsoring the program must provide a 50-50 funding match.  At
present the cost of providing books to one child is $30 per year, so the Friends
must provide $15 for each child per year.  According to the 2000 census, there are
approximately 745 children in the relevant age bracket living in our county, and
400 children are presently registered to receive books.
Why bring the Imagination Library to Sequatchie County?
When the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation was established, statistics
revealed that thousands of Tennessee children are in desperate need of early
education resources.  At that time thousands of children started kindergarten each
year never having owned or even seen a book:

35% of kindergarteners start school completely unprepared to learn; and
45% of Tennessee fourth graders read below grade level.

The program serves to encourage reading and improve school readiness.  This
program is also a key selling point in attracting industry and points are given in the
Three Star Community program for implementing the Imagination Library.
How can you help?
The most pressing need is for funding to continue this program. The Sequatchie
County Friends of the Library, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization allowing it to be eligible
as the local lead sponsor.  Donations to fund the Imagination Library are tax
deductible.  Please pledge to sponsor at least one child’s books each year.
We now serve
401 children.
your child in the
Imagination Library's Books
from Birth.