Washington County Imagination Library inspires a love of reading in children ages birth-5 years by gifting them a free book every month. Children enrolled in Imagination Library are sent a new, age-appropriate book every month until their fifth birthday.
The goal of the program is for every child to have the same access to books and early learning, so that they are well prepared for kindergarten.
Every child age birth-5 years who lives in Washington County is eligible for Imagination Library! You can enroll your child at any time and start receiving a free book every month until their fifth birthday. Click here or call Celeste Smedley at (423) 434-4362 to sign up.
Dolly started the Imagination Library in 1995 for the children in her home county, Sevier County, Tennessee. Her father’s inability to read and write throughout his life inspired her to create the reading program. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among preschool children and their families by giving them a specially selected book every month.
Since 1995, Imagination Library has expanded into five countries and now gives over 1 million free books each month to children around the world.
The program began in Washington County in May 2005. As of June 2022, Washington County children have received a total of 861,869 books. In fiscal year 2021-2022 alone, over 5,100 Washington County kids received 61,662 books.
In Tennessee, the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) provides half the funds needed to support the program and Johnson City Public Library, as the Washington County affiliate, raises the other half.
If you would like to help fund the cost of providing free books to our county’s preschoolers, click here to donate.