One of Roseburg Public Library’s favorite projects is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library because it gets books into the hands of our youngest learners.

Imagination Library is an international program that mails one new, age-appropriate, free book every month to children from birth until they reach age 5.

As the local affiliate, the Friends of the Roseburg Public Library is responsible for fundraising $25 per year per registered child. In return, the child receives 12 high-quality books to keep. The Friends has received support from The Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Umpqua Health Alliance, Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, Mercy Foundation, Umpqua Bank and individual donors.

Now I ask you to consider becoming an Imagination Library donor and helping prepare our youth for school readiness and life success.

Beginning Monday, November 23, the library’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/roseburglibrary) will link to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library fundraising campaign that culminates in the worldwide premiere of the documentary “The Library That Dolly Built” on Facebook on Wednesday, December 9 at 4 p.m. Following the film screening, Dolly will answer questions and perform a live version of her song “Try.”

Donors can submit payments online through the Facebook portal or drop off donations in person at the library. Note that Facebook is not charging administrative fees, so all funds will go to the Friends.

Our goal is to raise $5,000 through the end of December, which will help support the 850 children currently receiving books. Although our numbers fluctuate because children join the program and graduate every month, it is safe to say our costs will continue to increase as word about Imagination Library spreads. Nearly 3,000 youth in this service area are eligible for the program.

Imagination Library is the only library project that has not been affected by the current public health emergency because there is no in-person interaction. Parents and caregivers register their children online at www.imaginationlibrary.com, I review the registration to ensure eligibility requirements are met, and those who are approved begin receiving books in the mail within about two months.

Our service area includes the following zip codes: 97443, 97447, 97470, 97471, 97494 and 97495. I encourage residents outside of our service area to contact their local libraries; Imagination Library is available through several affiliates in Douglas County.

Imagination Library will operate in perpetuity because we are dedicated to providing early literacy materials to our children so they can build their personal libraries, share storytime with their families and develop a love of reading and learning that will last a lifetime. Thank you for supporting this project.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library. She can be reached at kwiley@cityofroseburg.org or 541-492-7051.

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