Keeping with our efforts to find positive stories upon which to end the week, last month marked an amazing accomplishment from an unlikely source. In 1995, country music legend Dolly Parton launched her “Imagination Library,” a program which at the time was meant to help foster a love of reading in the children in her native East Tennessee. 23 years later, Parton’s group gave away its 100 Millionth book, this one to the Library of Congress. This is an astounding achievement in philanthropy, and growing reason why Parton is increasingly as much known as the “Book Lady” as she is for her musical creations and accomplishments.

In the video below, Dolly tells the story of the program to Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, and reads her own children’s book, based on her song, Coat of Many Colors. This is the first installment of the Library of Congress’ new streaming Imagination Library Story Time program.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He serves on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.

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