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ACPL Announces Campaign to Bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Allen County

Today, the Allen County Public Library and the ACPL Foundation announced a new fundraising campaign to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to the children of Allen County. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books each month to children from birth to age five, free of charge through funding shared by state and local community partners. Children must be registered by a parent or guardian to receive the books. There is no charge to register or receive the books. Age-appropriate books are mailed directly to the homes of registered children each month.


Out of Indiana’s 92 counties, 77 are already fully covered by the program. At its February board meeting, the ACPL Foundation voted to create a committee dedicated to bringing the program to Allen County. Upon launch, Allen County would be the largest county in Indiana with the program. Nearly 900 Allen County families have already expressed interest in the program via Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library website.


“Here at the ACPL, our children’s services are second to none. I have complete confidence that when a child uses our library, they will leave with the foundation to be a lifelong reader. But equally important is the need for children to have books in their homes,” said ACPL Executive Director Susan P. Baier. “We know that 1 in 5 young children do not have a book of their own and that’s why I am so thrilled our Foundation wants to help us close that gap through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library!”


The State of Indiana is also putting its support behind the project through Governor Eric Holcomb’s 2023 Next Level Agenda. According to, the State allotted $6 million as part of “a community share to expand the program to every zip code in the state.”


“I learned from a very young age that reading is the key to education and opportunity,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The ability to read can transport children to places they have never been before and open doors they never knew existed. By making Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library available in every zip code, we are giving Hoosier children the tools they need for literary success.”


In order to make the program a reality, the ACPL Foundation must raise $100,000 to fund the launch and sustain the first two years. Today’s press conference kicked off a fundraising campaign to encourage donations of any amount to the project.


Among the first to donate to the project were Baier and former ACPL Executive Director Jeff Krull who led the library for 28 years.


“I dedicated my career to serving the families of Allen County and when I was given the opportunity to continue that work by donating to this project, I knew I wanted to be involved,” said Krull. “There is nothing this library, and this community, cannot do when it rallies around a common goal. It’s just like the little engine in Dolly’s favorite book says – ‘I think we can, I think we can!’ But for this project, I’ll go the little engine one better: I KNOW we can!”


Fundraising will continue until the goal is met. The community is invited to make donations at or by visiting any ACPL branch.


About the Allen County Public Library

The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) has fostered lifelong learning and discovery in northeast Indiana for more than 125 years. The ACPL consists of fourteen branches throughout Allen County, serving more than one million visitors per year. The ACPL’s collection includes more than 2.7 million items, with a circulation total of 4.2 million items borrowed annually. It also houses The Genealogy Center, the nation’s largest public genealogy research center, and The Rolland Center for Lincoln Research, consisting of more than 30,000 artifacts related to President Abraham Lincoln.


About the ACPL Foundation

The ACPL Foundation is a separate legal entity formed for the purpose of enhancing and expanding library programs and services. Its primary function is to secure financial and in-kind donations for programs, services, and capital projects. The ACPL Foundation offers donors a familiar and reliable vehicle for tax-deductible contributions in support of the Allen County Public Library.


About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library 

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Program Partners. The Imagination Library mails more than 3 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to enrolled children from birth to age five. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More, and Be More®.


The program has been widely researched and results demonstrate the positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.


For more information, please visit



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