Imagination Library

One carefully chosen gift book delivered to your child, every month, from birth to age five.

Early literacy is central to every child's lifelong success. That's why we're dedicated to helping all children in the Berkeley community build an excellent library before Kindergarten. Imagination Library books are reviewed and selected each year to provide high-quality, age-appropriate books to your child. Imagination Library books are a gift to the child.

For December 2018, 38% of books went to 94702 ZIP code and 16% to 94710, the areas we concentrate outreach in. We heartily welcome registrations from anywhere in Berkeley. We are confident all parents will value the program, and that those who have the means to do so will contribute financially. One year of IL book deliveries costs less than Little Passports or Highlights Magazine.

Imagination Library books mailed to Berkeley children:
2018: 4,862
2017: 2,868
2016: 1,560


What kind of books will my child receive?

All sorts of great books! See what children in Berkeley and across the USA are receiving this year on the 2018 Title List, linked here:

 Imagination Library's 2018 selections.

How do I register my child?

Registrations must be submitted on paper. You can get a form from us or from a growing number of preschool and infant care programs, including Berkeley Unified Preschool sites. Forms can be mailed to us, or handed in at events. 

  1. Come to any Event we host or table at, registration cards are on hand.

  2. Go to the Imagination Library website using the button below.

  3. Enter your child's home address. If it is in Berkeley you will be led to a PDF form.

  4. Print and fill out the registration form: Ink signature is required.

  5. Mail form to: The Berkeley Baby Book Project, P.O. Box 8213, Berkeley, CA 94707

Here are Some 2018 Survey comments:

"We love discovering new authors and books. Getting a book in the mail is a very exciting treat for my toddler. We look forward to the monthly delivery and love that our friends are all reading the same book. It's like a toddler book club!"

"We really enjoy all the amazing books and how much support and love this program is putting into the South Berkeley community for the younger generations."

"I love the program and the books - every time they come it's an exciting moment, it makes my children want to hurry and read the new book. Thank you!

"We love the diversity of characters and content topics, like the one about senses."

"Dolly Parton sent us a new book! My twins love the Imagination Library, read every day, and know you by name!"

"What a wholesome gift it has been for us all! Thank you!!!"


still have questions?

Check out our helpful FAQ, or contact us directly at

What is Imagination Library?

The program was created by Dolly Parton to deliver books from birth to children in her home county, Sevier, in Tennessee. The program began registering newborns in the County Hospital in 1995. Since then, Dolly and the Dollywood Foundation have worked to make the program available to Affiliates supported by their local communities across the USA and internationally. To date, Imagination Library USA has registered more than 1 million children, and has delivered over 100 million books!

The books are a gift.

How does that work?

The BBBP pays about $25 per year per child to Imagination Library to mail 12 books a year. The BBBP is billed monthly, as books are mailed.

Local individuals, foundations, and businesses who value early literacy and know the strong positive impact  of books in the home early in life, including parents of children receiving books, donate to us.

If you buy books for your child already, consider donating some of your book budget to cover a child's program costs. For store purchases,  we recommend Mr. Mopp's Books on MLK near Rose Street, it's a charming and well-stocked space.

who is eligible?

Any child under age 5 living in Berkeley, CA.

When can my child register?

Any time from birth up to 3 months before a child's fifth birthday. Books begin arriving 6–10 weeks after registration. (Example: If you register in January, your child will receive their first book in February or March).

2018 Titles + Selection Gdlns.jpg