Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Goes To Australia!

United Way Australia makes program possible for children in Australia!

As of today, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is now excited to be available in Australia. With months of planning behind the scenes, United Way Australia and The Dollywood Foundation made it public news today that Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is now available in Australia. Although small numbers to start, nearly 3 dozen (and growing) Australian children will soon be seeing books arrive in the mail for the first time in the history of the program. 

Take a few minutes and have a look around here: and if you are in Australia and have what it takes to replicate this program, then we urge you to click here and start a program for the children in your community.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Never Underestimate The Power Of Reddit

Dolly Parton
On February 13th, 2013, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library quickly became familiar with a social media website called Reddit.

Early Wednesday morning, we noticed that registrations and program replication requests from our website, were on the rise. Shortly thereafter we noticed our real-time traffic was out of control (in a good way).
Using Google Analytics, we logged in and began to monitor our website using their new Real-Time analytics which can show you the traffic within your website, as it is happening. This is extremely helpful to combat any malicious attempts to gain access to our system and to help gauge the overall health of our system.

While looking at our real-time data in Google Analytics, we saw that Reddit as sending viewers to our homepage, sometimes at a rate of several thousand new viewers per minute. Throughout the day yesterday, at any given second, was host to thousands of viewers from all around the world.

Imagination Library
This traffic surge was taxing on our servers and in the very beginning, our tech team wasn't sure how to react. After all, our main concern is always the security of our users. Without knowing the source of the traffic, of course our security settings initially blocked the surge in fear it was an attempted attack. Once we pinpointed the source of the traffic, the tech team jumped in and made adjustments to allow the traffic. It was all-hands-on-deck for the rest of the day and well into the late evening hours.

In addition to the traffic surge coming from Reddit  viewers and bloggers that were unable to access the site, called it the "Reddit Effect" which is when a website goes down due to the high traffic volume. All in all though, everyone remained in good spirits, the tech team came through, Facebook, Google + and Twitter buzz was off the charts and we ended up having the best day in the history of our program!

To show just how significant this phenomenon was for our program, we thought we would compare yesterday's data with the same time last year. It is stunning to say the least.

The RAW Data

  • Total Viewers - Up 1,163%
  • Online Registrations - Up 1,000%+ (Most online registrations in program history) 
  • Program Replication Requests - Up 290%
  • Donations - Up 450%
Top 5 Countries (In order of total traffic volume per country)
  1. USA (Up 1,091%)
  2. Canada (Up 4,544%)
  3. United Kingdom (Up 1,317%)
  4. Australia (Up 7,000+%)
  5. Germany (Up 4,746%)
As the international exposure on Reddit yesterday shows us, anything is possible. Just imagine the success that could be achieved if this was an everyday occurrence or even just a monthly occurrence.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dream More - Dolly Parton's New Memoir, Now Available

Based on the hugely popular commencement speech Dolly Parton gave at the University of Tennessee that became a sensation, Dream More is a deeper and richer exploration of the personal philosophy she has forged over the course of her astonishing career as a singer, songwriter, performer, and philanthropist.
*All proceeds will benefit Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dream More by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton Has Done It Again!

November 27, 2012, will mark the release of Dolly's new book "Dream More" which will be available for sale here in the Imagination Library "Dolly Shop".
The book is based on an inspirational commencement speech Dolly delivered at the University of Tennessee in 2009.

Watch Dolly's commencement speech on video here:

In a statement about the book Dolly said:

I know that I’ve learned some things in my life that are important to me, and I think maybe they might be good ideas to pass along to you. Not as advice, but as information that I have found has helped me over the years. Enough to share, and a little to spare....

If you’re lucky, your dreams will never die, you may not always achieve them, but if you always have dreams and reach for them, you’ll never be a failure. I still have dreams of what I want to do next.
source LA Times

The most amazing part of this story is the fact that once again, just as she did with her top selling cookbook "Dolly's Dixie Fixin's", all proceeds from "Dream More" will benefit her Imagination Library program which has mailed more than 45 million free books to children in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom since it launched in 1996.
To help promote the new book, Dolly's Imagination Library has hosted a video contest which will give 10 lucky winners an autographed copy of Dream More (See contest entries here) and Dolly will be making a series of television appearances, radio interviews and doing interviews with traditional print media. Here's a partial list of some of those appearances as currently scheduled:
*All scheduled appearances and interviews listed are subject to change without notice. For a complete list and updates as they happen, follow us on Facebook.
Dream More will be available for sale in the official donations and merchandise area of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library located here, beginning November 27th at 12:00AM Eastern. Quantities will initially be limited. All orders received will be processed for immediate shipping during normal business hours while quantities last.  

Dixie Stampede & Pirates Voyage Donate More than $267,000

In other news,  Dolly's Dixie Stampede dinner and show attractions in Pigeon Forge, TN and Branson, MO and her Pirates Voyage dinner and show attraction in Myrtle Beach, SC, presented a check this week (Monday, November 19, 2012) for more than $267,000.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rotary receives £2,500 donation to Bilborough

The Rotary Club of Nottingham working in partnership with Nottingham City Council started a Dolly Parton Imagination Library earlier this year.  Based at the Bilborough Childrens’ Centre this was the first partnership established in a programme that will extend to cover the whole City.  As a contribution towards the national Early Intervention initiative Imagination Libraries send registered children a free book every month from birth until they are five years old.  This way it is hoped that Nottingham children’s literacy levels can be raised to a more acceptable level.

Initial funding for the project has come from various local public and private charitable funds.  The latest large donation of £2,500 has been received from the Nottingham office of St. James’s Place Wealth Management.  Even though they are a national organisation St. James’s Place Foundation Trust ensure that their local offices are able to support good causes.  Local Senior Partner David Carter says, “The St. James's Place Foundation is delighted to be able to support this very worthwhile cause. Child literacy is such an important issue for the self esteem of the individual and the future of the country".

The Rotary Club have been working with various local organisations and hope to be able to announce a major development for the Imagination Library into a deprived inner city area around the turn of the year.

Readers wishing to donate, learn more about the Rotary Club of Nottingham and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library should go to the Rotary Club of Nottingham web site at
Further information
Leonard Gelblum
0115 947 4123
07977 249 869
About Rotary:
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, part of Rotary International, has 1,845 clubs and more than 55,000 members.
Rotary International was founded in 1905 in Chicago and is now the world’s largest international service organisation with 1.2 million professional men and women as members. There are 33,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographical areas.
Rotary clubs are open to men and women of all ages who are business, professional or community leaders and who want to use their experience for the benefit of others.
Rotary initiates local and global projects to promote world understanding and peace and improve life conditions for people of all ages and cultures. To find out more, visit

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dolly's little dream just keeps getting bigger!

For years now Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has been growing by leaps and bounds throughout Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Some ask why but most ask how does this continue to happen even during tough economic times. Yes there are programme champions that do lose funding but the overall growth and strength of the programme continue to be alive and well.

Cadwyn staff met Dolly at her concert in Cardiff
We think it's because the programme is so flexible in scale and easily modifiable. It doesn't matter if an affiliate is maybe one or two people or in contrast and entire state or province, it still works the same and it always starts with one single book. Take for example, Cadwyn Housing Association in Wales, UK. They set up Wales' first Dolly Parton Imagination Library and already today they have more than 70 children registered!

Click here for additional Cadwyn Housing Article
Leynie Meagher, a member of staff at Cadywn who has registered her children on the programme said: 'I'm so glad that Cadwyn have taken part in the Imagination Library - it's a fab benefit for employees and a way of giving back to the Cadwyn community. My children absolutely love receiving the books, it's like having a birthday every month! We love reading together anyway but this gives us even more reason.'

So you see just as Cadwyn is making the programme a reality for children in Wales and Alison Lilburn gives testament of the programme's proven success in Rotherham, Canterbury Children's Centre is working to bring it to the children in Bradford! That's how it works, that's how it survives even through tough times and that's why it works......It all begins with one book & one child.
(Read full Bradford story here on BBC News)

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