Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Book gifting program for preschool children supported by Diavik and Gahcho Kué mines in nine communities reaches its one-year anniversary! 

The NWT Literacy Council (NWTLC) is excited to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in communities in the Tłı̨chǫ region, Yellowknives Dene First Nation communities and Kátł’odeeche First Nation, as well as Kugluktuk, NU. The program has also expanded to include Łutsel K'e and Fort Resolution this year.

Expansion of the program to these communities is thanks to support from De Beers Group/Mountain Province Diamonds (Gahcho Kué mine) and Rio Tinto (Diavik mine).

Families are invited to sign up to receive a free book every month for each child aged up to five years old from the Dollywood Foundation of Canada. We hear about the great excitement each month when the books arrive in the mailboxes of participating children. Every registered family also receives family literacy activity packages from the NWTLC. The package has activities tied to a book and encourages ways to bring more learning and sharing with the book.

With three years of support from both Diavik and Gahcho Kué, NWTLC is working to help grow the home library of every child in the funded communities. Having a full and varied home library helps to strengthen children’s early literacy skills and create a life-long love of reading. 

Dolly Parton began the program in her home state of Tennessee in 1995, aiming to help children have high-quality, age-appropriate books at home. The program is now offered throughout the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland. Earlier this year, the NWTLC expanded access to the program to every community in the NWT.

This support helps NWTLC further our work in supporting family literacy. Family literacy includes all the ways families learn together and recognizes the importance of parents, guardians, and family members as a child’s first teacher. Through programs like this, we work to support them with tools to use in their home.  Adults who engage in family literacy activities with the children in their lives have opportunities to practice their own reading and writing skills, as well as to be a role model for the children, showing how much they value literacy. 

In the first year of our partnership with Diavik/Gahcho Kué, 115 children have signed up for the program in the partner communities, with 1,000 books going into families’ homes. Our goal is to reach another 200 children this year. To help reach more families, NWTLC will host sign-up events in participating communities. 

“The NWT Literacy Council is pleased to announce the contribution of Diavik and Gahcho Kué to support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. 
This collaboration plays a valuable role to support early literacy and learning for children in the NWT.”  

-Kathryn Barry Paddock, Executive Director, NWT Literacy Council



We recognize that literacy is the foundation for personal and community economic success. This is why we have supported literacy development in the NWT for the past two decades, through our award-winning Books in Homes program, Books for Babies program, support for preservation of traditional languages, and now through our partnership with the NWT Literacy Council. Since 2003, we have provided more than 60,000 books to youth living in Indigenous communities close to our operations and we look forward to continuing to grow that number in partnership with the literacy council.

-    Avischen Moodley, Country President, De Beers Canada

Literacy is a key building block in any child’s development, and we are pleased to support the work of the literacy council in our partner communities. Programs like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library help set youth up for life-long success, and we are proud to contribute to that success as part of our legacy in the North.

-    Matt Breen, Chief Operating Officer, Diavik Diamond Mine

How families can sign up:

In most of the participating communities, you can sign up online. Families in Ndilo and Dettah, and Yellowknives Dene First Nation members living in Yellowknife will need to use a paper sign-up form. Contact us at to get the form.

For media:

To arrange an interview about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, contact Katie Johnson: (867) 873-9262 or

Find out more about the NWT Literacy Council at

 Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library