Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Indiana announces new state director and engagement coordinator.

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Melinda Brown (l) and Katie Mullins (r).

The Indiana State Library and The Dollywood Foundation are pleased to announce the hiring of Melinda Brown as state director of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Indiana and Katie Mullins as its community engagement coordinator.

Brown has an extensive history working in the nonprofit sector, most notably with Stayin' Alive, a Franklin County community organization that addresses substance abuse. Brown helped launch a local Imagination Library program in Franklin County in 2007 and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. With the Imagination Library of Indiana, Brown will manage all aspects of the statewide program, staffing, budget management and developing strategies for fostering and sustaining statewide Imagination Library efforts.

“Working with the Indiana State Library to implement Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda to reach children birth to 5 years of age, by gifting books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is an invigorating honor!” Brown said.

Mullins has a comprehensive background in public libraries, including ten years of experience as an executive director, most recently with the Eckhart Public Library. During her time as an executive director, Mullins honed her leadership, librarianship and strategic planning skills, while instilling a love of reading in children. In her new role, Mullins will develop and maintain strong relationships with local and community partners, volunteers, and supporters statewide.

“This opportunity allows me to fulfill many of my passions - early literacy, philanthropy and building community partnerships in the best possible way, with books,” Mullins said.

In August, Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced the expansion of the Imagination Library of Indiana’s statewide book-gifting program. The goal of the expansion is to make books available to children ages 0-5 in every zip code in Indiana. Since the statewide launch, 16 new programs have been established bringing the total to 70 counties. The program is serving 89,278 children. The program will soon be available to more children in Indiana at no cost to families. The Indiana State Library is the State Program Sponsor and assists in the coordination of the statewide program and governs the state match. 

To learn more about becoming a community partner, contact Katie Mullins.

To enroll in this program and learn more as it expands across the state, visit the External link opens in new tab or windowImagination Library website.

Indiana Vision Expo returns to the Indiana State Library on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

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This year we have made a couple of changes!

    • The entrance will be at 140 N. Senate Avenue; this is much closer to the event than in the past.
    • Parking in the Indiana state government lot at the corner of Ohio Street and Senate Avenue will only be $10 for the event.

We have two speakers this year:

Christine M. Donmoyer, Ph.D. will be speaking about her book "Invisible Disability: Living with Macular Degeneration." Her book is a guide for newly-diagnosed AMD patients. It addresses the challenges that a patient faces in daily life. These challenges do have solutions as Donmoyer shares her insights from her unique patient perspective. She will be speaking at 10:30 a.m.

Julie Flaherty is a certified accessible travel advocate and specializes in accessible travel for individuals with disabilities and special needs. In her presentation, she will share stories about her travel adventures as a visually impaired traveler. She will also share her secrets to good travel. She will be speaking at 11:45 a.m.

The following vendors are planning to be in attendance:

Click External link opens in new tab or windowhere to read more. Please contact Judy Gray, Indiana Talking Books and Braille Library supervisor, with any questions about the Vision Expo.

Gov. Holcomb launches statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

On Thursday, Aug. 24 at the Indiana State Library, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb kicked off the statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which gifts free, high quality, age-appropriate books to children from birth to age five on a monthly basis, regardless of family income. Gov. Holcomb announced Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library statewide expansion as part of his 2023 Next Level Agenda.

The goal of the statewide expansion is to make books available to children ages 0-5 in every zip code in Indiana. The program is free to enrolled children and will soon be available to more children and families in Indiana.

“I learned from a very young age that reading is the key to further education and opportunity ahead, long-term,” Holcomb said. “The very ability to read can transport children and adults alike to places they have never been and open doors they never knew existed. By making Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library available in every zip code, we are giving Hoosier children yet another personalized tool close to home they’ll need for literary success.”

On May 4, Holcomb signed legislation into law that allotted $6 million over the biennium, $2 million in the first year and $4 million in the second year, as part of a community share to expand the program to every zip code in the state.

"It takes a lot of great people working together to make this possible, and I want to thank Governor Holcomb, the Indiana General Assembly, State Librarian Jake Speer and all our local community partners across the state who helped make this dream a reality," Dolly Parton said.

The Indiana State Library will coordinate the program and provide the state’s match to interested organizations or individuals to become local program partners. Currently in Indiana, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is available in 54 counties and is partially available in eight counties, with expansion plans to fully cover the entire state – all 92 counties. Starting Sept. 1, current local Imagination Library partners will only pay 50% of their local program cost with the remaining 50% paid by the state.

“Early literacy is very important, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program makes reading fun and exciting for children and their families,” said Jake Speer, Indiana State Librarian. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with existing and new partners in Indiana to get statewide coverage of this program.”

Click to see where the Imagination Library is currently available. Those interested, can enroll their child or sign up to be notified when a program comes to their community.

Stay Tuned

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Join the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library’s Summer Reading Program for “All Together Now” to celebrate friendship, kindness, and togetherness. Books are available to borrow from the library in braille, large print, and digital audio formats; participants can also download digital audio books and braille files from BARD at External link opens in new tab or window, or use the BARD Mobile app available from the iTunes app store, the Google Play store, or the Amazon App Store.

Any book borrowed from the library within the time frame will count toward a participant’s total. Note that only books borrowed or downloaded from the library will count towards a reader’s total. Every reader will receive prizes!

We will be sending out materials throughout the program including prizes, activity sheets, crafts, and more!

To enroll, please complete the application and email it to Abby Chumin at External link opens in new tab or .

Questions about this program can be directed to Abby Chumin, Librarian, by phone at External link opens in new tab or window317-232-3684 / External link opens in new tab or window1- 800-622-4970 or by email at External link opens in new tab or

TBBL JG 3-13-2023