Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of our most-asked questions. If you don't find an answer here, please feel free to contact us directly.


Imagination Library

What is Imagination Library, and how does it relate to The Berkeley Baby Book Project?

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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library® (IL) is a program created by Dolly Parton in 1995 to give free books to young children in her home county of Tennessee. The Berkeley Baby Book Project (The BBBP) is local IL Affiliate serving Berkeley. We are responsible for registering Berkeley children for the IL program, paying monthly invoices for books mailed, and responding to parent queries and problems related to books and mailings.

Imagination Library is available only in communities where there's a local Affiliate.

The BBBP runs other small book giving programs on its own. These is not a Berkeley residency requirement for those.

We hope to inspire or instigate other Imagination Library programs in the East Bay. If no one beats us to it we’ll work to start them when we have the support to do so.

How much does Imagination Library cost?

Books are a gift to the child, addressed to them. There’s no cost to recipient families. Affiliates pay Imagination Library monthly for books mailed to children registered by them.

We don't live in Berkeley. Can my child still register for Imagination Library? 

The Berkeley Baby Book Project is Imagination Library’s Affiliate for Berkeley. Through us, books are available only to children who reside in the city of Berkeley. We encourage you to visit Imagination Library’s website and see if there is an Affiliate serving in your area. (Sadly there are few in the Bay Area. We hope to help change that!)

What kind of books will my child receive?

All sorts of great books! Imagination Library’s Title Selection Team reviews children’s literature throughout the year. Title List is updated annually. The result is a quality collection of age-appropriate books, both new and classic. Learn more about Imagination Library’s Selection Process. And view a title list here.

My child is blind. Can they still register for Imagination Library?

Yes! Imagination Library has teamed up with the American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. (APH) to provide free audiobooks and books in braille for blind children. You can fill out their special registration form here →

My child didn't receive their book this month. What should I do?

Thank you for letting us know! Please send us an email, we’ll get back to you.

I'd like to change my address. How do I do that?

No problem! Please send us an email. If the move is inside Berkeley we’ll change delivery address. If move is to an area that has an IL Program, we can transfer the Registration.

I need to cancel my child's registration. How?

Please send us an email with the child’s first and last name.

Baby Book Club

What is the Baby Book Club?

At our Baby Book Club, children can play-act situations from storybooks, discover new books and hone their language skills while engaging in a range of activities led by our volunteers.

Can My child attend the Baby Book Club even if they are not a member of Imagination Library?

Yes. All children up to about age 10 accompanied by a parent or guardian are welcome at Baby Book Club events. 

General Questions

When was The Berkeley Baby Book project Created?

The BBBP was founded in 2012, gained 501(c)(3) nonprofit & Imagination Library Affiliate status in 2013, and began operating an IL Program in 2015.

Is my child's personal information secure?

Yes. Imagination Library's subscription system is sustained on a multi-server/multi-level, Extended Validation 256-bit SSL. The Extended Validation SSL (Signed Security Certificate), is verified and signed by one of the world’s leading SSL providers, Starfield Technologies®.

If the Books are Free for my child, how is The BBBP funded?

Funding for The Berkeley Baby Book Project is provided by grant funding, generous sponsors, and by individual supporters like you.

How is imagination library funded, and do they give support to The bbbp?

Imagination Library (IL) is supported by The Dollywood Foundation. IL provides Affiliates with technical, promotional & administrative support at no cost.

Affiliates pay only costs of books and mail delivery, with no markup. Each book costs $2.11, delivered.

That means we pay Imagination Library about $25 per year for each child we register. So, a donation of just $25 covers our annual costs one child, and $125 covers five years of books.

Retail cost of 12 IL books would be $60-$10, not including postage and without the Joy at the Mailbox each IL delivery brings. 

We love our local booksellers (especially Mr. Mopps!) and are not competing: Imagination Library delivers book Joy, creates book lovers. Book lovers become library patrons and book buyers. It’s win-win-win for us all!