Imagination Library FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Great Rivers United Way Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program.

Attention: The answers below are only applicable to children signed up for this program through Great Rivers United Way in Onalaska, Wisconsin. If you signed up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) through a different United Way or directly through DPIL, please contact those organizations directly with questions.

What is Imagination Library?
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was established by the famous country singer to instill a love of reading in children throughout the world. Each child who participates receives one free, age-appropriate book through the mail each month, until they turn five. After registering, the first book, “The Little Engine That Could,” will take six to nine weeks to arrive in the mail.

Who is eligible to participate?
All children from birth through age four years and nine months residing in Zip Codes 53821, 53805, 54657, 53826, 53827, and 54631 are eligible to participate in Great Rivers United Way’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. Because it takes up to 90 days before the first book arrives, children turning five within three months are not eligible. You may not sign up a child without a birth date. There is no income requirement to participate in Imagination Library.

Is Imagination Library really free?
There is no cost to families to participate in Imagination Library. Funding comes from donations given to Great Rivers United Way in Crawford and Grant counties.

How do I sign up?
Online registration is available.

What is a parent account?
If you provided an email address during registration, a parent account is automatically created for you. Once your child is approved and active in the program, parent account information, including your username and password, is emailed to you. Your username is always your email address. With your parent account, you can do things such as check your child’s enrollment status, edit your address, and view a list of the titles mailed each month.

How long will it take to get a book?
It will take approximately 90 days before the first book arrives. Books will then continue to be mailed once a month until the child’s fifth birthday.

Can I enroll multiple children?
If there are multiple children under five in a household, each child is eligible to enroll. The Dollywood Foundation switches out 18-20 books each year to ensure children in the same family won’t always get the same books. Please note that twins and multiples will receive the same book selection.

Why is my child’s status listed as “pending?”
Registrations received online will be placed into a pending area until the program coordinator reviews the information. Once the registration is approved, the child becomes active in the program, and the parent will receive an email. The accounts of children who have recently moved are flagged and also moved into a pending area until their address is updated. Please note that a child’s status may only remain in the pending area for up to 60 days before being permanently removed from the system. It is important to contact Great Rivers United Way if there is a change of address — see next question — or update it via your parent account. Please contact program coordinator Connor Glassen at

I am moving. How do I change my address?
It is extremely important to remember to contact Great Rivers United Way to change your address when you move. Please note: we are only able to assist local children who signed up for Imagination Library through Great Rivers United Way. If you signed up with another United Way or directly through DPIL, you must contact them to update the child’s address. The books do not follow you, and your child will no longer receive books if the address is not kept current. Please email program coordinator Connor Glassen at or call (608) 796-1400, ext. 107 to notify us of a change of address, or, if you provided an email address during registration, you can also change your address through your parent account. Filling out a change of address form at the post office will NOT change your address with Imagination Library.

What type of books will be mailed?
The first book the child will receive is always “The Little Engine that Could,” and the final book received is always “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come.” Children will be mailed age-appropriate books in between. All books are printed through Penguin Publishing, and reading tips are provided on a flap on the back of each softcover book.

Why did one of my children receive their book this month, while the other did not?
Books are shipped at different times of the month based on age.

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