July 16, 2019

Pittsburgh Children Receive First Round of Free Books

In July 2019, Pittsburgh preschoolers received their first round of free books from the City of Pittsburgh’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.


The free book program – in conjunction with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the Benter Foundation, and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania – mails all eligible children an age-appropriate book every month up until their fifth birthday. In February, legislation was introduced to Pittsburgh City Council to accept $250,000 from the Benter Foundation to establish the Pittsburgh program.

In early July, the first shipment of books was sent out to 1,402 children who were enrolled in the program at the beginning of June. Another 400 children have been added to the program since then and will receive their first books in coming weeks. All children receive “The Little Engine That Could” as their first book, as it is Dolly Parton’s favorite.


To be eligible for the program, preschoolers must:

  • Be a resident of the City of Pittsburgh
  • Have a parent or guardian fill out an official registration form
  • Notify the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania of any address changes

Sign Up

To sign up for this program, visit the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library website.

More Information

For instructions, frequently asked questions, and more, visit the City of Pittsburgh’s website.

*Information provided by the City of Pittsburgh

Mayor Bill Peduto, Tiffini Simoneaux, and Rachelle Duffy at the Homewood Block Party introducing the start of a free book program for Pittsburgh preschoolers. A sign of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library stands in the middle, with Dolly smiling brightly.