Imagine This

On January 17th we celebrated what would have been the 100th birthday of a lady that left us too soon.  Yes, 99 years was not enough time for us to enjoy Betty White.   On January 19th we celebrated the 76th birthday of another national treasure, Dolly Parton.  May Dolly bless us with at least as many years as we head with Betty.  Why, hmmm, better more like why not?  Not only did this lady donate 1 million dollars to the development of the COVID vaccine, she wrote and performed “I Will Always Love You”, and my personal favorite, “Jolene”. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention she is an author too. 

Dolly will release her first novel on March 7, 2022.  You would think that I would be thrilled, well, it was not my first reaction.  Her novel, “Run, Rose, Run,” was coauthored by James Patterson.  So, my initial reaction was, “No, Dolly, please, anyone but JP.”  I am just being a librarian snob, seriously, without JP our circulation numbers would drop, for 2021 his books alone checked out 198 times.  I don’t hate JP, I have read many of his books, and I can promise you I will read his collaboration with Dolly. 

I mentioned donating money, singing and being an author, but I am only scratching the surface of what makes Dolly so great.  The number one reason to love Dolly, nope, it is not Dollywood, it would be Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth until they begin school in participating areas. Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books free of charge to children from birth to age five, through funding shared by Dolly Parton and local community partners in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Republic of Ireland.  Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write Dolly started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county. Today, her program spans five countries and gifts over 1 million free books each month to children around the world.”

Children would receive one book monthly from birth through age 5, for a total of 60 books!!  The book cost is covered by Dolly and the shipping cost is covered by the local community partners, at a rate of $2.50 per book (rate for non-profit organizations), per child, per month.  There are currently 52 affiliates in Missouri and the Friends of the Morgan County Library are looking at what it would take for our community to become number 53.  What would it take?  Local community partners and money.  Based on their website’s “cost estimator”, Morgan County would need the following funding over a 5-year period, factoring in the growth of numbers and variance of sign up times: Year One: $2655, Year Two: $6383, Year Three: $10637, Year Four: $14890, Year Five: $19143. 

Now you might wonder why a librarian that worries about circulation numbers would want children to receive free books in the mail.  Well, regardless what you might first think, having books makes kids want more books, and guess what, the library would have them.  As a child I had my own little bookshelf of books, I checked out books from the county library, the bookmobile and the school library.  For those with a love of reading, there is no such thing as too many books, and how do you develop book lovers, well, you shower them in books from day 1.  Currently children that participate in our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program graduate from the program with 5 books of their own, imagine if we could up that number by 60!  Imagine it!! 

Upcoming Events: 1/26 Story Time at 10am, 1/27 Craft Night at 6:30pm, 1/31 MOCO Warriors at 6:30pm.  The Young Adult Reading Challenge has started (Adults can participate), swing by the library for more information.