The Marion Public Library is the newest in Iowa to join Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. The announcement, which is great news for young children in Marion, came this morning from The Friends of the Marion Public Library.

Kids in Marion from newborn all the way up to age five, are eligible to receive a free book every month. Parents can sign their kids up for the program via registration cards which are available at the Marion Public Library. Residents who wish to sponsor a child can do so for just $25 a year.

Dolly Parton, whose father was unable to read, started the Imagination Library in 1995. Since that time, more than 100 million free books have been sent to children in five countries. More than 1.4 million books are now sent each month.

You can learn more about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library at the Marion Public Library HERE. Questions can be directed to Norah Hammond at

Dolly Parton's Imagination Libary at the Marion Public Library is sponsored by the Alliant Energy Foundation, Marion Independent School Foundation & Alumni Association, Friends of the Marion Public Library, and the John A. & Elise M. Nelson Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

The Cedar Rapids Public Library has been part of the program for just over two years. In that time, more than 100,000 free books have been sent to Cedar Rapids children.

Charity Tyler, Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, tells me that 5,306 Cedar Rapids kids are enrolled in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library as of today. That's nearly six of every ten eligible children in Cedar Rapids that are signed up. Already, 1,353 have "graduated" from the program, by turning five years old. Cedar Rapids residents can learn more about enrolling their kids HERE.

There are currently 13 Iowa libraries that are part of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Click HERE to find out if your local library is involved. Once you click on Iowa, all the information for each Iowa library that's part of the program will appear below the map.

Dolly Parton: Thank you for helping to change kids' lives all over the world.

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