ʻOhana Readers is a literacy program that focuses on reading with family as an affiliate program of Dolly Partonʻs Imagination Library. The program offers high-quality, age-appropriate Imagination Library books each month to children who are under the age of five.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a 60 volume set of books beginning with the children’s classic The Little Engine That Could. Each month a new, carefully selected book will be mailed in your child’s name directly to your home free of charge.
Hawai‘i’s first lady Dawn Amano-Ige, together with state and non-profit partners, launched the ʻOhana Readers program on Molokaʻi on October 19, 2019 and it is expanding to new communities as funding and capacity becomes available. See the list below for communities currently served by ʻOhana Readers.
Watch the Hawaii News Now interview from the launch of Molokai’s Imagination Library Project.
- The books curated by the Imagination Library are for early childhood. Children enrolled must be between the ages of newborn to five (5) years old.
- Dolly Partonʻs Imagination Library program is a zip code based mailing program. Families must live in specific zip codes to participate. The program will not send books outside of the covered areas. The zip codes currently covered by ʻOhana Readers are:
Lānaʻi (entire island) –
- 96713 (Beginning Oct. 12, 2022)
Hawaiʻi Island –
How to Register
- Fill out and turn in the registration form (instructions below)
- Complete the enrollment survey
The Hawai‘i State Public Library System is encouraging families to register for the ‘Ohana Readers program. To sign up, visit the Moloka‘i Public Library, Lānaʻi Public & School Library, Waimea Public Library, Princeville Public Library, Hāna Public & School Library (Beginning Oct. 12, 2022), Nāʻālehu Public Library (Beginning Sep. 21, 2022), or Pāhala Public & School Library (Beginning Sep. 21, 2022) branches to pick up an official registration form, OR click your zip code above to find the corresponding form to be downloaded and completely filled out by the authorized adult. You may return the form by mail or drop it off at the branch. The participating branches will also offer programs that complement the books the children receive, and will provide other activities to promote literacy and reading.
You must notify ʻOhana Readers any time your address changes. Books are mailed to the address listed on the account. Your child will continue to receive books until they reach the age of 5 as long as your address remains in the covered area and provided that funding continues to be available.
Children who register for the program will receive one book each month via the U.S. Postal Service beginning approximately eight to ten weeks after their registration form has been submitted.
The program is made possible through a collaborative partnership between:
- The Office of the Governor
- The State Department of Human Services (DHS)
- The Hawaiʻi State Public Library System
- Rep. Lynn DeCoite
- The Dollywood Foundation
- Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i
- Learning to Grow
- Read to Me International
- Kamehameha Schools
- The Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC)
- Friends of the North Shore Library at Princeville
- The United State Postal Service
The hui continues to look for additional sponsors to reach new communities.
“Research shows that children are ready to learn in their earliest years, and this program provides no-cost opportunities for learning from birth through age four. ʻOhana Readers encourages family read-aloud time, an activity that increases the vocabulary and language skills of our children and contributes to their growing knowledge of the world,” said First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige.
“This program encourages the youngest members of our community to develop a love of reading that will be important throughout their entire lives. The Hawai‘i State Public Library System is very excited to partner with the ʻOhana Readers program by being a place for families to sign up their little ones for story times at the [nearby branches] to complement the books being mailed out,” said State Librarian Stacey Aldrich.
For more information about the ʻOhana Readers program contact Friends of the Library of Hawaiʻi.