About Us

Our story

Imagination Library of Montgomery County, Maryland was founded by Susan & Peter Greif and Debbie Pollak in May of 2015. They share a love of books and reading, and wanted to share that passion with young children.

Susan serves as board president, and Debbie is our executive director. Peter is a board member and serves as our IT Department. The board also includes Gail Hoelscher, who provides Spanish translations of our newsletter, and Richard Pollak. Volunteers Barbara McClelland and Jan Hirshberg help administer the affiliate.

Who we serve

The program currently registers children in the 20850, 20851, 20877, 20895 and 20903 zip code areas.

We have around 800 children enrolled, and more than 650 have graduated. Since our start in 2015, we have distributed more than 28,000 books.

We hope to grow the number of coverage areas as fundraising continues (as we must raise all the funds needed to pay for the books mailed to the children in our program).

History of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was started by Dolly in her home state of Tennessee in 1995. She felt that the seeds of children’s dreams could often be found in books. She was further inspired by her own beloved father who could not read or write.

Dolly developed a program so that every preschooler in Sevier County, TN would receive their own books on a regular basis. It quickly expanded throughout Tennessee, and many communities asked if the program could be replicated in their states. Imagination Library was then offered to any community that would support a local affiliate. Imagination Library of Montgomery County, Maryland was born, and the first children were registered in May 2015.

Today, there are over 1,800 affiliates like ours in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia and the Republic of Ireland. Over 1.7 million books are mailed out every month, and over 130 million books have been distributed over the years! The 100,000,000th book was presented by Dolly to Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in 2018.

Learn more at the Imagination Library national website.

It’s no wonder that Dolly is proud to be called The Book Lady. She remains committed to the idea that books can help children “Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More.”

Our Donors

We are grateful to the following organizations and individuals for their generous support.

We also thank the many anonymous supporters who have donated to our affiliate through the national website for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

City of Gaithersburg

Freddie Mac Employee Matching Program

Gaithersburg Rotary Club Foundation

The Junior League of Washington

The Kay Family Foundation

metroBethesda Rotary Foundation

Montgomery County Circuit Court Charity Campaign

Montgomery County Council

Office of the Montgomery County, MD Executive

PNC Grow Up Great Program
Provided supplies for 2020 Parent Survey

St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Kensington, MD

The Robert & Maureen Sievers Family Charitable Gift Fund
(in memory of Maureen Sievers)

Phyllis Castle

Joanne Colt & Tom Haslinger

Carolyn Flury

Susan & Peter Greif

Gail Owen Hoelscher

Julie & Bruce Hunter

Amanda & Daniel Johnson

Veena Kapur

Marc Korman

Ellen and Jim Myerburg

Richard & Debbie Pollak

Barbara Tarmy

Katherine & Jonathan Tomares

About Our Logo

When we founded became an Imagination Library affiliate in 2015, one of the first steps was to create a logo.

Luckily, we have a talented artist and illustrator in Debbie's daughter, Jessica McGuirl. Developing the teddy bear logo was fun and interesting, as Jess helped us discover the essence of our affiliate - what we wanted to show the world.

We feel that every baby and young child needs special time each day with their parents (or other grownup) to sit and read together. Our logo reflects that warm feeling of connection with a young bear in his/her mom's or dad's lap sharing a book.

They're on cloud 9! They could be reading about animals, colors, folk tales and so many other things out in the big, wide world. We hope you enjoy our logo as much as we do.

You can check out Jessica's work at firstpancakestudio.com.