Shelby County leads state with Imagination Library

SIDNEY — “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a Shelby County United Way and Shelby County Libraries sponsored program, has been in Shelby County for over four and a half years and over 110,000 books mailed to participants since the program’s inception,” said Scott Barr, United Way president.

The program sends an age and developmentally appropriate book every month until their fifth birthday, totaling 60 books by their fifth birthday. Imagination Library costs $25 per participant which is covered by donors and funding partners, allowing the program to be completely free to all children and their families. Wilson Health enrolls every baby born into the program and these babies will start to build their libraries. When participants reach their fifth birthday, they are invited to a graduation ceremony at Amos Memorial Library.

Currently, an amazing 2,414 children in Shelby County are enrolled in the program. This is 69 percent of the eligible population, ranking Shelby County No. 1 in the state of Ohio. Amos Memorial Library manages the program, including tracking data and following up on mail returns. In September, 55 children graduated, aged out at five years old, from the program.

Know an eligible child ages 0-5 that isn’t enrolled? Have them visit Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

The Shelby County United Way is a local 501c3 non-profit organization. Monies raised in the annual campaign are invested locally under the leadership and direction of our local volunteer Board of Directors and Community Allocation Volunteers. The Shelby County United Way is highly rated from Charity Navigator. Through the fourth week, the campaign total is $250,608. Donors can make payroll contributions with participating employers or make a one time or reoccurring donation by visiting or text SHELBY to 40403. Checks can be made payable to Shelby County United Way and mailed P.O. Box 751, Sidney.