Imagination Library

River Valley United Way is committed to supporting learning and development and a sense of belonging for children and youth so that they become responsible and contributing adults. We want to ensure children have positive developmental opportunities so that they can start school ready to succeed. We want to grow success in learning and in life.

Studies show that when kids are given regular ‘lap-time,’ not ‘laptop’ time, but time spent reading books before kindergarten, their vocabulary can reach 10,000 words before age 5. For a child who hasn’t had this experience, their vocabulary is about 3,000 words. We must, as a community, level this playing field.

We provide one book each month to registered children in Yell, Pope, and Johnson counties from birth to their fifth birthday. These sturdy, colorful, age-appropriate books are delivered directly to the child. Each book is selected for the developmental benefits it brings – and for the fun. There is no cost to the family.

  • The local cost of the program is $25.00 per child per year.
  • No charge or fee or donation is required or expected for enrollment.

W H O  P A Y S  F O R  T H E  B O O K S? 

Our community! River Valley United Way pays for books with donations from our annual fundraising campaign.

Ideally, we would like to reach 100% of eligible children in the River Valley. We can't make significant steps toward that goal without your help. 

Donate today, text RVUW to 26989, or Click here to give now.


  • Children must live in Pope, Johnson, or Yell County to receive books provided by River Valley United Way.
  • Children must be registered by the parent or guardian they live with.
  • Books must be mailed to the child's home address.
  • Visit to register.

F A Q 

When will my child start receiving books?

Dolly mails out books to almost 2 million children a month and must place book orders a month in advance to do this. Depending on when you register your child, it may take up to eight to twelve weeks for the first book to arrive. After that, the books will come every month. 

For example, if you registered your child on January 6th and were approved by your local affiliate in January, you would receive your first book in March.

How do I know if my child was accepted into the program?

If you provide an email address with your registration, you will be notified via email when the registration is approved or entered into our system.  If you do not have an email address, you will need to contact our office to find out more information, but it does take 8-12 weeks for books to start arriving after approval. 

I heard some local Imagination Library programs stop registration or close because of a lack of funds. Why doesn’t Dolly do something about this or give them the money they need to continue this program?

The Imagination Library is made possible through funding shared by Dolly Parton and local communities.  While Dolly and the Dollywood Foundation cover many overhead costs and administration needs, the local programs secure the funding for the cost of books and postage.

River Valley United Way covers the book and mailing costs for Pope, Johnson & Yell Counties. All other administrative expenses (overhead, selection of books, database, publisher negotiations, and fulfillment of the over 2 million books mailed monthly into five countries) are covered by Dolly and the Foundation. By having the overhead expenses covered, all of the money raised locally goes straight back into the community and allows more children to receive books each month.   

I have twins, will they always receive the same books each month?

We mail out books by age group. Every child born in the same year receives the same books appropriate for their age. Twins will receive the exact book each month. However, because the books are addressed to each child, they will both have built their own library of quality books when they graduate from the programs.

Do all children receive the same books?

Each child within an age group receives the same monthly book.

We ensure children receive an appropriate book by allocating them to an age group based on their birth year. For example, children born in 2023 will receive board books with minimal text focusing on nurture and attachment. In contrast, a child born in 2018 will receive a softcover picture book covering more complex concepts.  A child enrolled from birth to their fifth birthday will build their own home library of up to 60 books. Learn more on our website:

I’m expecting our baby in 6 months; when can I sign them up?

Congratulations! Provided an Imagination Library program is available in your community, you can sign your baby up with your local affiliate as soon as they are born.  

Are the books age-appropriate?

Yes, All books within the program are age-appropriate and are selected by early childhood experts. More information about our Book Committee can be found at and select "Choosing Our Books under your country's menu.  

Every child receives the same welcome book, regardless of age, and the age-appropriate titles will start to arrive the following month.

How do I get my login information?

If you registered your child online or an email address was added to your child's record upon registration, this will be your username.  If you do not know the password, please request a new password using the New Password/Forgot Password link on the login page. If your link has expired or is invalid, you can request a new link at any time by visiting

Donate now to help us keep mailing books to children.

Click here or text DOLLY to 26989