Imagination Library

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library


United Way of Southeast Mississippi is now accepting applications to register children in Forrest, Lamar, Perry and Marion counties for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! The Imagination Library mails one age-appropriate book each month to enrolled children until they turn five (5) years old. Ensuring that children have access to books from the time they are born helps reach the goal of improving early childhood education and kindergarten readiness in our community.

About Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a national program hosted throughout the country by local organizations. Dolly Parton started this book gifting program in 1995, originally in her home county in East Tennessee after being inspired by her own father’s inability to read and write. Today, more than 1.3 million children have been registered worldwide and over 112 million books have been mailed.

How It Works

The cost for a year's worth of books is an estimated $30 per child. Thanks to donors and sponsorships, funding has been secured to allow children living in the Hattiesburg Public School District, Forrest County, and Lamar County to waive this fee. If your child meets these requirements, complete the form below and your child will receive their first book in the next two months. We are constantly working to secure funding in order to waive this fee for children in all four counties.


If your child is ineligible to have the fee waived, you can still enroll them in the program at a cost of $30 per child, per year, or place them on a waiting list. Just submit the completed form and you will be contacted by United Way staff with additional information.


After your child is registered, his or her book will be mailed directly to them each month!


To submit an application for registration, please fill out the form below.


Not sure if your child is in the Hattiesburg Public School District? Click here for HPSD's Street Guide.



Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Hattiesburg Public School Foundation

The Phil Hardin Foundation

The First, A National Banking Association

Hancock Whitney

Junior Auxiliary Hattiesburg

Zeon Chemicals

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Alpha Gamma Chapter

Lamar County School District

Ryan Hendley, In Memorium


 Making sure every child is ready to learn by the time they enter kindergarten is one of United Way SEMS's goals in improving quality education. Ensuring children have access to books is a step toward reaching that goal. If you, your business, club or organization would like to sponsor Imagination Library, please contact United Way SEMS at 601-475-0218.


Is your child going to be four years old by September 1st?

  • Click here to learn more about the Hattiesburg Early Learning Collaborative


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