Miami County celebrates 10 years with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

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TROY – Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Miami County is celebrating a milestone: The program has now put books into the hands and hearts of children across Miami County for a decade.

“We are thrilled to have been the catalyst to bring this program to all children in Miami County 10 years ago,” said Rachelle Via, director of Troy-Miami County Public Library. “Obviously, we couldn’t do it then and can’t do it now without the generous financial support of our community.”

Imagination Library mails specially selected, high-quality books to the child’s home each month from the time the child is born until they turn five years old at no cost to the family.

The program in Miami County has delivered more than 424,000 books to more than 12,000 children in Miami County since its inception in 2014.  

“This program not only provides books to children at their home, but studies show the presence of books in the home supports a child’s academic, social, and emotional development and better prepares them for school,” said Andrea Wackler, Programs and Services Manager at the library.

Forty-one independent studies have shown that Imagination Library has a positive and significant impact on family literacy habits, kindergarten readiness, and supporting grade-level reading by third grade. And, surveys of Miami County parents support these statistics. Ninety-five percent of Miami County parents were reading to their children several times a week after they began receiving books—a 26 percent increase!

“Costs for this program average about $9,000/month because we have over 4,300 children in Miami County currently enrolled in the program,” Via said. “We are fortunate that Governor DeWine set up the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio to fund half of those costs, starting in 2019. We do hope our community will continue to support us as we continue to fundraise for this program over the next decade.”

To celebrate 10 years of Imagination Library in Miami County, join local celebrity readers, the Miami County Libraries, and our special guest Bruce the Bear for stories, crafts, and more for an open house on Thursday, March 28, from 6-7 p.m. at the Troy-Miami County Public Library.

The evening includes guest readers Mayor Robin Oda, Melissa Kleptz, Natalie Rohlfs, Kevin Harlan, as well as other special guests. Troy, Bradford, and Tipp City Library are contributing to the evening and offering fun activities. The Book Bike will even be here. Come celebrate the 12,000 children who have benefited from the program and explore our new Friendly Forest, an indoor interactive reading park, funded by a grant from The Troy Foundation.

The Troy-Miami County Public Library is located at 419 West Main Street in Troy, Ohio. For more information, call the library at (937)339-0502 or visit our website, www.tmcpl.org

Anyone interested in learning more about the program can contact Via or Wackler at the library at 937-339-0502 or visit https://tmcpl.org/services/DPIL.