Families who sign up receive a book per month from birth to kindergarten. Every month, the nonprofit program mails a free book to more than a million children - from infants to preschoolers.
Founded in 1995, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a book-gifting organization that has, to date, mailed 100 million books to children in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. She then earned the nickname of "the book lady" by kids around the world.
Tuesday morning, the program gave away its 100-millionth book.
"Almost brought me to tears hearing her read her book coat of many colors and the song and the personal meaning", said Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas).
You can not judge a book by its cover, said country music star Dolly Parton, who has been called a lot of things in her five-decade career: singer, songwriter, actress and cartoon character (her words). "They deserve a big round of applause for all that they do!" she added. "That's why I think it is so important to get books into the hands of all these special little kids". It was given to the Library of Congress in Washington, where Parton has a partnership to livestream story readings.
Dolly said that she "loves to read" and will get through a minimum of 52 books a year.
Parton said she started the program after being inspired by her father, a "hardworking man" who never learned how to read or write, and was discouraged by thinking that he could never learn to read.
The UT crew interviewed Parton about the festivities and the success of the Imagination Library. He was able to see the program take off before he died in 2000.
"[It was the] first book that we had in our home and the one that meant the most", Parton said.
"It's something so different from her music career", said graduate student Lindsey Owen.
As well as donating books, Dolly released her first children's album previous year - I Believe In You, with all of the proceeds going to her charity.