Lorain County Imagination Library

Fostering a love of reading

Dolly Parton believes if you can read you can do anything, dream anything, and be anything. Thanks to Imagination Library, all children birth to age 5 can have books to read, regardless of the environment in which they live. Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly started Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home of Sevier County, Tennessee. Today, the program spans five countries and gifts over 1.9 million free books each month to children around the world, including over 9,000 children right here in Lorain County.

Imagination Library puts books into the hands and hearts of children and encourages kindergarten readiness, literacy, and emotional development. Additionally, children develop a special bond with their parents and other caregivers by reading together.


Lorain County children participate


books delivered to Lorain County children each year

How LCIL Works

Lorain County children are eligible to receive a free book, delivered right to their home, each and every month until age 5.

The age-approrpriate books are hand-selected and mailed by a team at the Dollywood Foundation.  The books are paid for through a partnership with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, Lorain County Imagination Library Coalition, and many local donors and foundations.

Register Your Child

Lorain County Imagaination Library Advisory Coalition

In 2015, United Way of Greater Lorain County’s Ready Set Go to Kindergarten community collaborative brought the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Lorain County in an effort to strengthen parental involvement towards kindergarten readiness and child literacy in the City of Elyria. In 2017, The Socker Foundation saw a need to expand the program throughout the entire county and the Lorain County Imagination Library (LCIL) was launched. Under their leadership, LCIL has grown exponentially, reaching more than 50% of eligible children in the county.

Today, four organizations have partnered together to get books into the hands and hearts of Lorain County children. Community Foundation of Lorain County serves as the primary and fiscal agency, and is involved in all aspects of growing this program including fundraising, marketing, and advocacy. The Stocker Foundation oversees registrations and enrollments, while United Way of Greater Lorain County faciliates connections with kindergarten-readiness cooperatives. Ohio Govenor’s Imagaintion Library provides a high level of financial support for the program. Lastly, and most importantly, a team of community volunteers work to grow and strengthen this worthwhile program.

Empowering Lorain County children

The investment in early literacy translates into successful, productive teens and adults.

  • When a young child enters kindergarten ready for school, there is an 82% chance that child will master basic skills by age 11, compared to 45% for those who are not school ready
  • At-risk children who do not recieve high-quality early childhood experiences are 25% more likely to drop out of school, 40% more likely to become a teen parent, and 60% less likely to attend college

Support Childhood Literacy

Lorain County Imagination Library enables every child to build a library of their very own. With your support, LCIL can grow to provide books to 100% of Lorain County children. A $25 donation provides books to one child for an entire year.

Lorain County Imagination Library Coalition is always in need of volunteers to spread the word about this worthwhile program.  If you would like to become involved or would like to distribute promotional materials at your clinic, daycare, library, or other child-focused office, please contact Community Foundation of Lorain County at 440.984.7390.