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Imagination Library

Register for free books for your under five, give feedback on the Imagination Library scheme, get tips and ideas for activities to do with the latest books.

Free books for children from birth to five years

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a 60 volume set of books. Each month a new, carefully selected book will be delivered to your home and addressed to your child. Best of all it is a free gift! There is no cost or obligation to your family.

The programme is available across the whole of North Lincolnshire. All children from birth to five years who live in North Lincolnshire are eligible to register.

Celebrating 10 years of the Imagination Library in North Lincolnshire

Adults and children celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Imagination Library with a special Peter Rabbit cake.

Since its launch in 2013 more than 800,000 free books have been delivered to more than 20,000 local children, supporting all children under five to develop a love of books and reading for pleasure.

The 10th anniversary of the Imagination Library in North Lincolnshire was celebrated by the council and representatives from The Dollywood Foundation – which initiated the scheme.

To raise awareness of this incredible achievement and to further celebrate the joy and benefits reading brings, we are inviting all North Lincolnshire residents to take part in the North Lincolnshire Year of Reading.  Find out more on the Year of Reading webpage.

Register for the Imagination Library

You can register for the Imagination Library using our online form:

You can also register:

  • at your local family hub
  • at your local library
  • with your health visitor
  • at school
  • at early years providers

If you have more than one child, each child may participate.

You will receive your books eight to 10 weeks after your registration form has been received. Books will start to arrive at your home and will continue until your child turns five or you move away from North Lincolnshire.

Moving address

If you move please let us know by completing the online form or contacting us on 01724 296652 so we can ensure your child will continue to receive books at their new address.

Sign up for Imagination Library ideas sheets

Sign up for the Imagination Library monthly ideas sheets containing ideas and activities for the Imagination Library Books you receive each month

Imagination Library feedback

Your feedback is important to us and helps influence the selection of future books. Please tell us what you think by completing the feedback form below.

Singing Together playlist

Singing Together is a collection of songs sung by local parents and early years practitioners. There is no accompaniment and the songs have been sung slowly so that you can hear the words and the children can join in.

Wherever you are, take the chance to talk and sing together. It really doesn’t matter whether we can sing in tune – it’s the being together and having fun that really matters.

Listen to the songs and have fun singing & talking together!

Download the words to the songs – Singing Together [PDF, 141Kb]

This playlist has been produced by a partnership of North Lincolnshire early years practitioners, parents, speech & language therapists and Tots on Tour Ltd Lincolnshire UK.
www.totsontour.co.uk   www.inproductionmusic.com

All children under five in North Lincolnshire can receive a free book every month from the Imagination Library. Sign your child up from birth and they’ll receive 60 books in total to help start a lifelong love of books and reading.

Once your child has graduated from the scheme, continue sharing stories together through your local library.

As children’s reading ability improves, they will often like to go back and read for themselves the books they got when they were younger. Even if you think your child has grown out of one of their books, it’s a good idea to keep it. They’ll probably love to rediscover it for themselves in a few months – or even years.

Continue Sharing Stories

Once a child turns five, they’ll graduate from the Imagination Library, however this is just the start of a lifelong love of books and reading.

You can continue sharing stories with your children for free through your local library. Our children’s libraries have thousands of books for your child to choose from, for all different ages, so you can continue to develop their vocabulary, reading and communication skills together.

If you want to buy some books, why not look out for ones in the same series as those your child loved from the Imagination Library?

Re-gifting the Imagination Library Books

Once your child has graduated from the Imagination Library, you may want to re-gift your books. You could give your books to family and friends with young children. Even if they live in North Lincolnshire and are signed-up to the Imagination Library, some of the books change year-on-year so they will likely get different ones.

In 2023 we will be celebrating 10 years of the hugely successful North Lincolnshire Imagination Library programme. We have delivered over 800,000 books to more than 20,000 children living in North Lincolnshire, supporting all our children under 5 to develop a love of books and reading for pleasure.

To raise awareness of this incredible achievement and to further celebrate the joy and benefits reading brings, we are inviting all North Lincolnshire residents to take part in the North Lincolnshire Year of Reading.

Over the year we will be offering a range of exciting reading themed events, activities and workshops for children, young people, families and adults. This will include author, illustrator, poet and creative events, plus theatre, storytelling, competitions and much more! Find out more on the Year of Reading webpage.

February 2024

Group 1 – Born in 2024 – The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is the first book your little one receives from the Imagination Library.
It tells the story of a very mischievous rabbit!

Group 2 – Born in 2023 – Where is the Very Hungry Caterpillar?

Lift the flaps and search for the very hungry little caterpillar. Is he hiding in the grass? Is he nibbling the strawberry?

Find out where everyone’s favourite caterpillar is hiding!

Group 3 – Born in 2022 – Shark in the Park

A rhyming book about a boy who looks through his telescope and finds some very surprising things.

Can your child find the shark on the last page?

Group 4 – Born in 2021 – Who‘s Going to Bed? Meet a cheeky baby who is NOT sleepy.

Will anybody get any rest?

This dreamy story is the perfect read just before bed!

Group 5 – Born in 2020 – Do You Know? Animal Families

What are baby animals called? What is in an egg?

Find out all about tadpoles, chicks and sleepy lions in this information book.

Group 6 – Born in 2019 – The Beastly Bunch

The Beastly Bunch is a fun, colourful picture book that celebrates the importance of kindness and how we treat each other, not how we look.

As part of a heart-warming new project between the North Lincolnshire Children’s Literacy Trust and the Health Tree Foundation, every baby on Scunthorpe hospital’s neonatal ward will be given literacy gift packs. This includes a copy of the award-winning book ‘Guess How Much I Love You’, as well as a ‘Singing Together’ CD and lots of information designed to support families in this crucial early stage of their babies development.

Please leave feedback on the neonatal book gifting scheme using the link below, or call us on 01724 296652.

January 2024

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Sign up to receive  regular updates from North Lincolnshire Library services, including the Imagination Library and family events/activities.

I have an older child and we have all the books already, why should I register again for my other child/children?

Every year we change around 60% of the books in the book selection so although you may get the odd duplicated book, you will not receive a complete duplicate set of books.

I have lots of books – I don’t need any more, do I?

You can never have too many books! Books can be read anywhere at any time in any place. If you have lots of books, make sure you take some out and about with you. Give some to grandparents or other relatives to keep at their house for when you visit. Have some in the pram, some in the car, some upstairs and some downstairs.

Plus, many families tell us what they love about Imagination Library is that it introduces them to new authors and to different types of books that they may not have chosen themselves.

I have twins, do I just register once?     

If you have twins, or even triplets we still want you to register each child. Yes, they will each receive the same book, but we know that the first books can get damaged as babies love to explore the world around them with their mouths. Little fingers need practice at lifting flaps and turning pages so the first books will get double the wear and tear! Plus, book ownership has so many proven benefits and as the children get a little older, they will be aware of the books coming in the post with their name on it. How can you choose which child has their name on the envelope and which one doesn’t!

I don’t receive any benefits or financial support, if I sign up will I stop someone else getting the books that may not be able to afford to buy books of their own?

North Lincolnshire’s Imagination Library is available to all children living in North Lincolnshire from birth to their fifth birthday. Every single child is entitled to receive the books – it is NOT means tested. This is because we know that sharing books with children in the early years has a lifelong positive impact and wide-ranging benefits. It can impact on health, wellbeing, progress made at school and creativity. Shared reading brings immediate benefits to families too. It is great for bonding, boosting positivity and can also improve children’s sleep.

Babies can’t read and look at books, why bother registering them when they are born?

 It is never too early to start sharing books. Your baby will love to hear your voice and snuggle up with you for a story as soon as they are born.

The books are divided into 6 groups based on the year your little one is born. This means the books that come to you will all be carefully selected to be suitable for just the right age. The first books are usually board books, often with flaps or black and white images which are developmentally perfect for babies.

Imagination LIBRARY – am I borrowing the books? Do they need to be returned somewhere?

 No – the books are yours to keep forever. If you register your little one with the scheme at birth you will receive 60 books to create your own library at home.

I don’t live in North Lincolnshire but have family that do, can I register my child at their address?

No, unfortunately the scheme is only available through North Lincolnshire Council for children that are resident in North Lincolnshire. Imagination Library is available in other areas so it may be worth checking locally if the scheme is funded in your area by your own council or by another organisation, such as the Rotary Club or through a school academy.

I signed my child up straight away – why haven’t I received my first book yet?

 It takes about 8 weeks for your first book to arrive but can take up to ten weeks at particularly busy times. The books can arrive any time within a calendar month, and this may not always be the same. If you have not received a book by the last day of the month, please contact us at earlyyears@northlincs.gov.uk or on 01724 296652.

I am moving house, how can I let you know my address is changing?

 If you are moving house or changing address you can let us know by visiting our web page Imagination Library – North Lincolnshire Council (northlincs.gov.uk) or by contacting us at earlyyears@northlincs.gov.uk or on 01724 296652. Please note, it can take up to 8 weeks for a change of address to register on our system. If any books are returned to us in this time and you have already registered a change of address, we will send them out to you directly.

How can I get the most out of my Imagination Library Books?

 Have you signed up to our e-newsletter?

Each month we will send you an email full of ideas and activities that can be used alongside your book. With links to top tips and songs and rhymes that are all designed to support your child’s development and make the most of the Imagination Library book you have received that month.

Sign up now at Imagination Library – North Lincolnshire Council (northlincs.gov.uk)

What shall I do with all the books once my child is five?

We really encourage you to keep hold of your Imagination Library books. As children’s reading ability improves, they will often like to go back and read for themselves the books they got when they were younger. Even if you think your child has grown out of one of their books, it’s a good idea to keep it. They’ll probably love to rediscover it for themselves in a few months – or even years. If you really do run out of space or have duplicates that you don’t want to keep, we would ask that you offer the books as a donation to your local nursery or school so the books can continue to be enjoyed by other children.

Contact

01724 296652