Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Did you know that children growing up in homes with at least 20 books receive three more years of school than children from bookless homes?

We all know the importance of early childhood development. But, not all families have access to the tools or resources they need for their children to have a successful start. For example, 88% of children who aren’t reading by kindergarten still struggle with language skills in grade 3. Oshkosh Area United Way is committed to childhood development. We’ve made Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library available to all families in the Oshkosh area – FREE of charge.

The Imagination Library mails each enrolled child one book every month from birth up until 5 years old. These high-quality books are chosen by experts in the education and writing field. Choices are based on the child’s age to encourage their love of reading before they head off to school.

The goal is to foster a love of learning in children, making the experience fun and meaningful. Since its inception in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has grown to be available in over 1,600 local communities. Over 1 million children have received free books.

Children in the program love getting a book in the mail every month: It’s personal, has their name on it, and comes straight to their home.

If you have additional questions about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, please email us at!


  • Child must be age 0 to 5
  • Child must reside in one of these Oshkosh area ZIP Codes: 54901, 54902, 54903, 54904, 54906, 54927, 54963, 54964, 54980, 54985, 54986
  • If the child’s address changes, the parent must notify us via email at prior to the expiration of their mail forwarding

How To Register A Child

  • Fill out our online form HERE
  • Download and fill out the registration form HERE. Mail or drop off the completed form to: Oshkosh Area United Way | 16 Washington Ave. | Oshkosh, WI 54901
  • The child should receive their first book “The Little Engine That Could” within about eight to ten weeks of registering

Special Thanks

Make a Gift

To our generous community sponsors: Robert W. and Susan T. Brown Family Foundation and Baird.

With your support, last year we were able to provide 10,855 free books to children in Oshkosh and the surrounding area.

$36 = cost of providing an Imagination Library book to an Oshkosh area child each month for one year!

If you’d like to make a gift in support of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through Oshkosh Area United Way, donate here

Goodnight With Dolly

Enjoy some of Dolly’s favorite bedtime stories.

Oshkosh Area United Way