Your Questions Answered

What does Imagination Marlborough do?

We give books to babies and children under five in the Marlborough area. Each child will receive a carefully selected book in the post, every month until their fifth birthday. If they were enrolled at birth that would mean that they would have built up a library of 60 books by the time they’re five

Who is eligible to receive books?

Any baby or young child, under the age of 4 years 10 months, who lives within five miles of Marlborough. Communities within this area include Axford, Cadley, Fyfield, East & West Kennett, Lockeridge, Manton, Mildenhall, Oare, the Ogbournes, St Katharine's, Wootton Rivers. If you want to check you live close enough, start the enrol online process and the system will tell you if your postcode is within our area.

Can my child receive books if we live just outside that area?

We would have loved to cover a wider area, However, we regret that for the moment we have set this geographical restriction to limit our costs. But if you’re on the borderline, send us an email and we might be able to include you

Who’s behind Imagination Marlborough?

The national programme is called Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the Imagination Marlborough initiative is a partnership between two charities, the Dollywood Foundation UK and Hamilton Trust. These two charities cover all the costs between them and so there is nothing for any parent to pay

Is there a catch?!

There is no catch. Books and postage are all paid for by Hamilton Trust, and all the organisational and central support costs are paid for by the Dollywood Foundation. The Foundation orders millions of books from the publishers which means that Hamilton Trust can buy the books at very low cost. There is nothing for a parent to pay, and nothing they have to do – except enjoy reading the books with their child. And any parent and child can leave at any time, just by emailing us

Is my information safe with you?

Yes. None of your details will be shared with any other organisation and we only use your information (names, email, phone number, address) to send you the books and for any communication directly about the project. No-one will try to sell you anything, or send you anything from third parties

How can I enrol my child?

By clicking on Enrol your child and then either entering your and your child’s details online; or by printing out a form, completing it by hand and posting it to us. With either method you will receive an acknowledgement to confirm your child has been enrolled

I can’t get the online enrolment to work …

We’re sorry if it isn’t working for you. The easiest next stage for you is either to try enrolling on a laptop (if you haven’t already), or to print out a form and post it to us. We’d also be grateful if you could email us to tell us what didn’t work, and what type of laptop, tablet or mobile you’re using (eg, ‘Android mobile’)

One thing to check is that when entering your postcode, the system does require you to include the space, eg SN8 1AA and not SN81AA. It doesn’t matter if you use lower case letters, but having entered the postcode, don’t press Return but instead click on ‘Check Coverage’

Is Dolly Parton really behind the project?

Yes! Dolly set up the first Imagination Library in 1995 in her hometown in Tennessee. She has said she was inspired to set it up as a tribute to her father, ‘a smart and hard-working man who was unable to read or write’. She wanted to guarantee access to books, to inspire a lifelong love of reading and to help children reach their full potential. So far over 100 million free books have been sent to children via her Imagination Libraries worldwide, with over 3 million already posted in the UK. You can learn more about the Dollywood Foundation and the Imagination Library by visiting their website,

Who are Hamilton Trust?

Hamilton Trust is an educational charity based in Oxford, whose main purpose is to support primary teachers nationally through providing teaching resources on its website, . The Trust is already helping Marlborough children and the Marlborough LitFest, and has a special interest in the under Fives. It was instrumental in starting another Oxford charity, Peeple, which worked closely with the BBC on its CBeebies programme ‘The Baby Club’

Who chooses the books?

A panel of literacy experts chooses the books from within the Penguin Random House publishing group. (The group covers Penguin, Ladybird, Puffin, Dorling Kindersley, Frederick Warne, BBC Books, Corgi, Bantam, and many more). Most titles change every two years, so most children will get different books from their older siblings. You can see this year’s list of books

When will my child receive their first book?

The initial welcome book is a special version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and it should be sent to you in the month after enrolling your child. The next book will be sent in the following month and then every month until your child turns five

If I change address, what should I do?

Just email us to tell us your new address (if still within the Marlborough area), or we will stop sending you books if you tell us you’re moving away

If I want to stop, what do I do?

Just email us and we will remove your child from the programme. No need to give us any reason (though we’re always pleased to receive any feedback, on anything)