The Imagination Library of New Mexico

At the request of the Dollywood Foundation, the Imagination Library of Grant County will spearhead the effort to the Imagination Library available to all of New Mexico’s preschool children.  The Dollywood foundation will not consider New Mexico a statewide program until every preschool child is eligible to register for this program.  We’ve got our work cut out for us, but we’re making good progress.

Our Role

As The Imagination Library of Grant County, doing business as The Imagination Library of New Mexico, we will coordinate efforts to:

  • Encourage the establishment of new affiliates,
  • Support existing affiliates, and
  • Invigorate affiliates that have become inactive.
To accomplish this we have established a statewide steering committee composed of representatives from each of the seven Council of Governments districts throughout the state.  This steering committee will meet twice a year to assess our progress and coordinate our efforts statewide. Our first in-person meeting was held in Silver City on April 28 – 30, 2017.

Click here to see a map of New Mexico that shows our current coverage.  There are, at this writing, 29 active affiliates in the state including 17 on Tribal lands.

We have been chosen by the Children, Youth and Families Department of New Mexico to receive funds earmarked to support a statewide early childhood literacy program. These funds, $100,000 for each of four years ending in FY2019 and administered by our local Council of Governments District, will help us create and support affiliates across the state by reimbursing them for 50% of their book costs.  We have also received grants from Brindle Foundation (2017), The Pierce Foundation (2016) and The Frederick H. Leonhardt Foundation (2017) to cover training expenses and start-up costs.

We are proud to be the fiscal sponsors for the Imagination Library affiliates in Curry, Harding and Eddy counties along with the Glenwood area of Catron County. The books and associated expenses are being paid for with donations from those counties.

Currently, about 33% of New Mexico preschool children are eligible to enroll in the Imagination Library with over 7,300 children of them, roughly 17% of those eligible, receiving a free book each month.  The three main factors limiting the number of children actually receiving books are the rural characteristics of our state, the lack of 501(c)(3) organizations able to sponsor an affiliate and the lack of available funding.

Thanks to our encouragement, at least two bilingual books are mailed each year to children at each age level.

How to Get Involved

In order to establish or sponsor an affiliate, you must either be a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization; be associated with one as your fiscal sponsor; or be a school district.  This requirement must be met in order to satisfy the Unites States Postal Service requirement to mail books at the bulk mail rate.

If your city, county or region is not currently involved and you would like to facilitate the creation of an affiliate please contact the Dollywood Foundation at www.ImaginationLibrary.com or us at info@imaginationlibrarygc.org

We look forward to making this great gift available to all preschool children in New Mexico.