Dolly Parton library opens in Pittsburgh providing free books to kids |
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Bob Bauder

The Pittsburgh branch of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is open and looking for young readers.

Parents of Pittsburgh kids age 5 and younger can now sign their children up to receive one free book per month through an online portal.

Parton, the country music icon, started the program in Sevier County, Tenn., 24 years ago through her Dollywood Foundation. The Imagination Library has since mailed 115 million free books to children in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Pittsburgh officials announced in February that it was receiving a $250,000 grant from the Benter Foundation to help fund the free book program. Children can receive new, age-appropriate books mailed directly to them each month.

The Imagination Library handles overhead costs, databases, a book selection committee and the monthly mailings. Pittsburgh is using the grant to pay postage of $25 per child per year along with the costs of advertising and community outreach events.

Kids can receive 12 books each year for up to five years.

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