Parents praise ‘fantastic’ Imagination Library

Schools, Libraries and Learning
12:08, Friday, 11th December 2020

Parents have responded in their hundreds to praise North Lincolnshire Council’s Imagination Library, which sends a book every month to every child under five across North Lincolnshire.

North Lincolnshire Council has invested £250,000 in the Imagination Library, a worldwide project set up by US country music star Dolly Parton.

Dollywood UK promote North Lincolnshire Council’s commitment to young children and their families as a ‘world leader’ and an example of best practice.

North Lincolnshire Council is passionate about giving all our children the best start – a love of reading is critical to the effective development of a child’s educational future. Our continued commitment to funding the Imagination Library has been positive in improving outcomes for children’s lifelong learning.

Parents are encouraged to register their children at birth and they then receive up to 60 books before their fifth birthday, all absolutely free.

The Family and Community staff create monthly ideas sheets with weblinks, activity suggestions and discussion ideas so parents can really explore the stories and have fun enjoying the books together.

During the spring lockdown Dollywood UK requested access to our online support sheets for parents. The materials were highly praised, and several authorities are now working with us to create a full range of support materials each month.

The North Lincolnshire scheme is so successful it was selected to help carry out international research on Imagination Library books and how families use them.

Parents were sent a comprehensive survey about the scheme, with a prize draw for taking part.

There were more than 700 replies, with a massive percentage saying they looked forward to receiving the books, especially during lockdown, and that they helped them share special moments with their child.

Abi and two-year-old AJ won a signed photograph of Dolly Parton. Abi said: “The books are fantastic! My little boy’s nursery has commented on how imaginative he is and the way he is able to express himself.

“I am sure this is due to sharing so many great books with him. His favourite Imagination Library book is The Hungry Caterpillar.”

Jen, with daughter Ava and son Toby, won a signed copy of Dolly Parton’s book A Coat Of Many Colours.

Jen said: “I feel privileged to receive the books. My little boy talks about one book in particular he calls the Monster book and which he takes everywhere with him. He is only two, but I’m convinced his advanced development is partly down to his interest in the books, his attempt to copy the words I read out and act out the characters.

“It would be amazing if every child could experience such joy before they start school. Thank you so much to everyone who makes this scheme possible.”

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This proves what we knew all along – the Imagination Library is a fantastic way of giving children a love of reading. I would encourage every parent of young children to sign up.”

For more information about the Imagination Library and to register your child, fill in the form on our website.