The Library That Dolly Built – 4/2
During the last 25 years, Dolly Parton has quietly built one of the largest literacy-focused non-profits in the world. Started as a gift for the children of her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in now active in all 50 states and five countries and delivers more than 1.5 million free, age appropriate books to children every month.
The Library That Dolly Built goes behind-the-scenes of this unprecedented program to show how one of the most famous performers in the world has developed an efficient and effective program, beloved almost universally by its recipients.
Featuring original interviews with authors, policy makers, Imagination Library staff, recipients, and the legend herself, Dolly Parton, The Library That Dolly Built introduces the viewer to all aspects of the Imagination Library, from how the books are selected and mailed to how the Imagination Library was originally formulated and where they expect to go in the future.
The film also provides a glimpse of the profound impact the Imagination Library has on the people it serves by sharing the stories of people like John Gibeau. Gibeau runs an Imagination Library program in rural Minnesota. His town has no library, school or bookstore. Through tears, Gibeau explains that without the Imagination Library some children in his community would not have any books.
Weaved throughout the story of the Imagination Library is a biographical sketch of Dolly Parton, featuring rare photos and films from her childhood. Unlike most biographies of Dolly, it doesn’t focus on her music. Instead it demonstrates that at every point in her career, any time she has had success, Dolly Parton has come back to Sevierville to give back to her people.
Dolly has gifted her story, her music, her inspiration and her Imagination Library to people throughout the world. It is her Imagination Library, however, that will most likely be remembered as the sweetest gift of all.