Frequently Asked Questions About Imagination Library

What is Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?
It’s an international program that’s just starting in Eugene. Families who live in the City of Eugene can sign up their kids, ages birth through four, and Imagination Library will send each child a new book every month. The books are a free gift for the kids to keep.

The purpose is to help local children become "reading ready" by the time they start kindergarten. Reading with young children is proven to make a big difference to their future success.

How do we sign up?
Sign up at the Kids section of the Eugene Public Library website. Parents without Internet access can sign up on a computer at the Library or on a paper form available at the Library.

That sounds too good to be true. Is there some kind of catch? How can this be free?
We know what you mean. It really is a pretty amazing program, which is why we’re so happy to bring it to Eugene. There is no catch. There will never be any cost to you. There is no advertising. Your information will not be shared with anyone for any purpose.

Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library to make books more available to young children, because early experience with reading is so important to their futures.

The program is supported by the Dollywood Foundation, combined with local donations from each participating community. In Eugene, the local donations are being raised by the Eugene Public Library Foundation.

The Imagination Library operates on a very large scale, purchasing and mailing many thousands of books every month. That’s how they are able to provide this service at a cost low enough to be covered by donations, so that all families can participate for free.

How secure is the information provided to Imagination Library?
Both Eugene Public Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library take information security very seriously. We will not share it or use it for any purpose other than this service.

Does my child need to have a library card to participate?
No. All children ages birth through four who live in the City of Eugene can receive books by mail from Imagination Library.

If you live in Eugene, however, we hope you will register for a free library card. Then you and your child will have many more books to read -- plus DVDs, CDs, and other services.

I owe library fines. Can we still sign up?
Yes, you can still sign up for Imagination Library. This program is separate from your Eugene Public Library card account.

I have a Eugene address. Why does the website form say that I don’t?
We’re sorry. We know this can be confusing. The fact is, some mailing addresses say "Eugene," but they are not actually within the official limits of the City of Eugene.

It’s complicated, because the City, the post office, the school district, and other entities each have somewhat different boundaries defining "Eugene."

The Imagination Library program is specifically for children who currently live within the geographic boundaries of the incorporated City of Eugene.

The Imagination Library is being financially supported by donations to the Eugene Public Library Foundation to send books to children who live in the City of Eugene. Your area may be served by one of the other Imagination Library affiliate programs.

I pay for a Non-Resident library card or I have a library card because I own Eugene property or I have an Institutional Card. Why don’t I qualify?
We’re sorry. We know this can be confusing. While the City does allow people who live outside of City limits to purchase a library card, that’s separate from this special books-by-mail program.

The Imagination Library is specifically for children who currently live within the City of Eugene. It’s being financially supported by donations to the Eugene Public Library Foundation to send books to children who live in the City of Eugene. 

I live outside of Eugene. How can we get Imagination Library in my area?
Great idea! Thousands of communities work with the national organization, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to offer this program. You can find out how to do it by visiting the Imagination Library website.

What if our family is homeless?
Your family does not need a permanent address to sign up your child for the Imagination Library.

Your child needs to be currently living within the limits of the City of Eugene, and have an address within the City of Eugene where he or she can receive mail. The books will be addressed to your child’s name, so you will want to make sure that your child’s name is on the mailbox, or that the mail carrier has been informed that your child can receive mail there.

When will my child get the first book?
The first book will arrive about two months after you sign up. For example, if you sign up in September, your child will receive the first book in late November.

Because the national organization is so large, it takes a little while to get new addresses into their system. But once you get the first book, a new book will come regularly every month until your child’s fifth birthday.

I thought I signed up, but I never got a book.
The first book will arrive about two months after you sign up. For example, if you sign up in September, your child will receive the first book in late November.

Because the national organization is so large, it takes a little while to get new addresses into their system. But once you get the first book, a new book will come regularly every month until your child’s fifth birthday.

If you have already waited two or three months for the first book:
  • Please make sure the postal service knows to deliver mail for your child’s name to that address. Add your child’s name to the mailbox, leave a note for the mail carrier, or submit "change of address" information on the US Postal Service website, adding your child’s name to the address.
  • Have you received a "Welcome" email or letter?  If not, there may have been an issue with your sign-up. Please call Eugene Public Library at 541-682-5450 so we can help.
My child missed a book.
If it is this month’s book: Sometimes the book doesn’t come until the very last day of the month. If it doesn’t come by the beginning of next month, please call Eugene Public Library at 541-682-5450 so we can help.

If you have already waited past the end of the month: Did you recently move? If so, you need to change your mailing address in the Parent Section of the national website for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Also, please make sure the postal service knows to deliver mail for your child’s name to that address. Add your child’s name to the mailbox, leave a note for the mail carrier, or submit “change of address” information on the US Postal Service website, adding your child’s name to the address.

If you have already waited past the end of the month, and you have not moved recently: Please call Eugene Public Library at 541-682-5450 so we can help.

One child got a book, but my other child didn’t.
Books may come at different times of the month. Once each of your children has received a first book, each month’s books should arrive by the last day of the month – but not necessarily on the same day. 

How do I change my address?
Change your mailing address in the Parent Section of the national website for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. If you don’t remember your log-in information, the website provides information about how to have it sent to you.

How do you have the money for this new program, when library services have been cut recently?
This program is paid for by a partnership of the national Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and private, local donations raised by the Eugene Public Library Foundation specifically for this purpose.