Imagination Library

A really cute toddler props their head on their hands, which rest on top of a stack of books. They look up from under the ponytail dangling in front of their face and smile.

Imagination Library provides registered Racine County children under age five with a book in the mail per month at no cost to the household. The first book, "The Little Engine that Could," arrives approximately 90 days after registration. Books are carefully selected to be high-quality and age-appropriate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How it Works

A diagram of how the Imagination Library program works. United Way of Racine County invests $30 per child, per year for five years; measures local program impact; manages program enrollment; and engages families. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library coordinates Blue Ribbon Book Selection Committee, negotiates wholesale rates with publishers, and manages monthly book orders and mailing. The United States Postal Service delivers books. Finally, Racine County businesses, families and community members invest in Racine Count, and the cycle continues. In the center is an icon of a parent reading to a child, with four extra text bubbles: prepares children for Kindergarten, increases home focus on reading, increases caretakers and children's time together, and boosts childhood reading skills.

Imagination Library Graduates Score Higher

Having as few as 20 books at home has a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education. This is from a study in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, which also showed that having books at home influences a child's educational achievement more than their caretakers' income, nationality or education level.

Imagination Library graduates' test scores support these findings, indicating that having books at home is one of the indicators of kindergarten readiness. 

While four in ten Imagination Library parents have less than ten books in their home upon signing up, their child will receive 20 books in less than two years of enrollment. 

For Imagination Library Graduates

Your feedback helps us improve our work and maintain accountability to our donors. If your child graduated from Imagination Library, please tell us about your experience

Recent graduates will receive a postcard in the mail to exchange for a prize at your local library.

A baby in a white onesie lays on top of a book, grabbing the edge of a chunk of pages in one hand and laying the other flat on the book as if reading it. On top of their serious face are perched a pair of precarious, oversized black spectacles.

“My son’s vocabulary is above developmental milestones. I know that the number of books he has listened to again and again is a contributing factor.” — Sara D.


Thank You to Our Sponsors

The logos of SC Johnson, Aurora Health Care, Gateway Technical College, Higher Expectations, InSinkErator, Johnson Financial Group, Lavelle, Racine County, Thrivent Financial, and U.S. Venture.