Our Mission

Making books a Berkeley birthright.

We believe that every child should have an excellent home library long before Kindergarten. That’s why we’ve partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to offer free home delivery of one hand-selected book every month for any child under age 5 living in Berkeley, CA.

(Child must be 3 months under age 5 to be registered for the IL Program. Last book delivered month of fifth birthday.)

 

Our Story

 

Research from around the world shows that early literacy maps directly to a child's cognitive development, academic success and even their life expectancy. Improving literacy doesn't have to be complex. The first step is getting books into children's hands. All children. That's why we've affiliated with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to help the children of Berkeley build excellent personal libraries before Kindergarten.

Continue Reading →

 
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Our Programs

 

Monthly Book Subscription

Imagination Library

Starting as early as birth, children receive one carefully selected book every month, no strings attached. Available to any child under age 5 living in Berkeley, CA.

 

 

Here's a quote from our August 2018 Survey I love because it shows parents recognize the quality of books selected for Imagination Library. Many parents commented on the quality of the IL Collection.

"We look forward to each new book. When we find a book that my son really likes, we find other books by the author. Please keep this program running.  Many Thanks!"

 

 

Demographically Targeted Book Giving

* "Welcome Baby" book bags: For two small programs serving  expectant mothers we supply tote bags containing books for infants and a copy of I Love You Like Sunshine for parents.

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 HATCH Community Doulas in Oakland serve very young women emerging from difficult circumstances. Berkeley's Black Infant Health program serves expectant mothers in Berkeley and surrounding communities. Both these programs include the importance of nurturing literacy from the start; we supply their clients  the tools to do so, from the start. 

*Demographically Targeted Books for Events: We purchase books that feature children/families of color and/or are bilingual-Spanish for our Baby Book Club table and for events at partner programs Healthy Black Families and Black Infant Health. Our intention is to make books available to children who are woefully under represented in the children's book publishing world: over 70% of new children's books feature only or nearly only white children/families (when characters are human).

It is a powerful thing for a very young child to see themselves reflected on the pages of a book in their hands.     We want this experience to be part of every child's life, repeatedly and from the start.  

 

 

Family Engagement

Baby Book Club

Meet and play with other book-loving children from Berkeley. Enjoy a wide variety of hands-on activities, story reading, and snacks.

 2018 Survey Results

We've received 128 surveys so far - over half with comments!  

all children benefit from excellent books in the home. Children love getting mail, regardless of their parent's income - the excitement delivered with each book is impossible to buy in a store. We want that excitement about books to be available to all our community's children.  

Quotes

"We love getting surprise books in the mail - plus it's been a great selection - we love the books we've received. We would not have heard of these books otherwise."

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Our Impact

Early literacy is empowering. It's tempting to try and sign up as many children as we can, as quickly as possible. But we plan to help Berkeley's children amass great personal libraries for generations to come. In order to do that, we have to start small, and expand with success. The community response has been outstandingly positive, and we're excited for the road ahead.

Here's what we've accomplished so far, in numbers:

 

166+

Personal Libraries Created

Since the creation of The BBBP, over 200 children have aged out of the Imagination Library program.

 
 

 
 

430+

Currently receiving monthly books

Our numbers are growing steadily by word of mouth, and our goal is to serve the entire community.

 
 

 
 

8,500+

Books Delivered

Since we began in  2015,  our Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program had delivered thousands of books.

 
 
 

Get Involved

There are plenty of ways to help get books in the hands of Berkeley's children. If you're a parent, register your child for Imagination Library or join us for a Baby Book Club. If you've got skills you're willing to lend, volunteer with us. If you'd like to support our mission, make a donation or see how else you can help us grow.

 

register your child for Imagination Library

One hand-selected book, delivered to any child age 0–4 living in Berkeley. All you have to do is sign up. We take care of the rest.

Sign up for the baby book club

Meet and engage with other book-loving parents and children from Berkeley. Enjoy complementary refreshments and hands-on activities led by our team of volunteers.

volunteer

Help us improve The BBBP by providing much-needed assistance with book mailing, Baby Book Club activities, event photography and more.

 
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