Dolly Parton Imagination Library

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there are FREE BOOKS for children from birth to age five in Herkimer and Oneida counties. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a unique early childhood literacy program that mails a brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until five years of age, creating a home library of up to 60 books and instilling a love of books and reading from an early age.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but by reading regularly with children during their preschool years, they receive the biggest boost toward a successful future they will ever get. To help every child be fully prepared for kindergarten, the books are a gift from our community to our children.

The Imagination Library provides an opportunity to address the lack of fundamental literacy skills needed for learning how to read. Studies have demonstrated that reading aloud to children by their parents and others helps them acquire the prerequisite skills needed for school, assuring that they have a better chance for success.

Our goal is to help every child in our service area to be fully prepared for kindergarten.

Support DPIL

Unfortunately at this time the DPIL/HOC Project is unable to accept any new registrations due to lack of resources. Donations to sustain and strengthen our project are being actively solicited.

Project leaders have made this difficult (and hopefully temporary) decision to limit enrollment to maximize the financial resources presently available to sustain the project. Efforts are underway to expand the donation base for the project to provide a long-range financial sustainability plan that will match the enthusiastic participation of children and families.

What is needed to sustain this project over time?

Providing monthly books for each child enrolled in the project costs $30.00 per child per year. Project leaders are seeking to identify and plan:

  • Business/organization donors able to pledge an annual donation over time
  • Individual donors able to make a pledge or one-time donation that will support multiple children
  • Grant funding
  • Sponsored events that will generate dedicated funds for the DPIL/HOC project.

DPIL/HOC is a joint project of the Literacy Coalition of Herkimer and Oneida Counties ( and eight local Rotary Clubs ( The Neighborhood Center is our fiscal agent; donations can be sent to them on behalf of DPIL/HOC at 624 Elizabeth Street, Utica, New York 13502.

THANK YOU for your support of this project that promotes a love for reading and prepares children for success in school.

Local Website:
Registration Form Unfortunately we are unable to accept any new registrations at this time due to lack of resources. Donations to sustain and strengthen our project are being actively solicited.
Statistics as of August 2016