Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden (left) AND Dolly Parton unveil âCoat of Many Colors,â the novel Parton donated to the Library this week. Photo by Shawn Miller.
Legendary singer-songwriter Dolly Parton visited the Library on Feb. 28 to donate a book: the 100 millionth given away by her organization Imagination Library.
For more than 20 years, Parton & Imagination Library have given books to children around the globe. Along the way, she earned the nickname âbook ladyâ from kids who received her books.
Hoping to spark a lifelong love of reading in children, the Imagination Library each month mails a specially selected, age-appropriate novel to more than 1 million children in participating communities from birth until they begin kindergarten. The book arrives in the mail addressed not to the parent, but the child.
âTo them, itâs personal,â Parton said. âTheyâre going to take that in the house & make somebody read it to them.â
In conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, Parton described her own childhood experiences with books growing up poor in the Great Smoky Mountains and the importance of reading for children.
Afterward, she read âCoat of Many Colors,â a book based on the classic song she composed nearly 50 years ago, to a group of children attending the event.
âWe are so pleased to be part of a milestone,â Hayden said upon accepting Partonâs donation. âWe are humbled that that novel will join with millions of other people at the Library of Congress.â