Dolly Parton and Her Imagination Library Is the Subject of a New Documentary

While much is known about Dolly Parton's life and career, less has been told about her generous philanthropic effort, with her Imagination Library, until now. Parton is the subject of a new documentary, The Library That Dolly Built, which will be available in theaters for one day only, on April 2.

“Of all the things I’ve done in my life, this is one of the most precious things,” Parton said in a clip of the documentary, posted on YouTube.

Parton began the Imagination Library to encourage reading, since her own father was illiterate, and has continued to promote the cause, even at a large cost to her.

“We just started this in my home county here in Sevier County,” Parton said. “We thought, ‘Maybe, if we’re lucky, it might go a couple of counties over.’”

“If you are lucky and fortunate enough to be in a position to help, you should help,” added the singer.

Parton recently spoke out about the devastating Nashville tornado, which has claimed at least 24 lives, with dozens more still missing.

"Well I'm here on the job today, because as they say, the show must go on," Parton shared on social media, only hours after the storm passed. "But we had a lot of damage out in our area; I know a lot of Nashville was devastated with the storms. I just wanted all of you to know that we are all with you, and hope your family's OK, and your property's going to be able to get mended pretty soon, get your lives back on. I just wanted you to know you're being thought of, and we love you.

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"Sorry that it all happened to all of us, but we're OK," she added. "To those that really lost family members, I'm sorry about that, and our prayers are with you. I just wanted to shout out and say, 'We're with you.'"


To date, the Imagination Library, which began in 1995, is in five countries, and gives away 1.5 million books each month. Almost 134 million books have been given away since the program began. Find more information at

Photo Credit: Getty / Tibrina Hobson