ALA Council

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  • 1.  Time to share the good news about Dolly Parton!

    Posted Apr 20, 2023 06:23 PM

    Dear Council,

    Thank you for your patience while our staff communicated with Dolly Parton's folks to confirm the details of her honorary membership. We may now share the good news that the Queen of Country and the queen of many of our hearts is an official ALA Honorary Member AND Celebrity READ campaign participant!

    Press Release:

    Dolly Parton Awarded Honorary Membership in the American Library Association

    For Immediate Release
    Thu, 04/20/2023

    Raymond Garcia

    Communications Specialist

    Communication & Marketing Office

    CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) is set to confer an honorary lifetime membership upon award-winning singer-songwriter, actress, businesswoman and philanthropist Dolly Parton for her longstanding support and commitment to inspiring a love of books and reading. Recommended by the ALA Executive Board and elected by the ALA Council, honorary membership is the highest honor given by the Association and conferred upon a living person whose outstanding contributions have made a lasting impact on librarianship, libraries, and the communities they serve.

    "ALA is proud to bestow this well-deserving honor upon Dolly Parton in recognition of her accomplishments in the world of libraries, learning and literacy," said ALA President Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada. "Her Imagination Library initiative, which was inspired by her father's inability to read or write, was launched to foster an early love of reading and learning in her hometown of Sevier Co., TN.  Today this high-quality, book-gifting program reaches millions of children in five countries and is a shining example of her commitment to early childhood literacy and ensuring access to books for all children, which speaks to the core values of our organization."

    Parton, who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, considers her Imagination Library initiative as one of her greatest achievements. Dolly's Imagination Library mails free, high-quality, age-appropriate books to children from birth until age five-no matter their family's income. In 2022, one out of ten children under the age of five in the U.S. received an Imagination Library book from Dolly each month, equating to more than 2 million books delivered globally per month.

    In addition to the honorary membership, Parton has joined the Celebrity READ® Campaign, featuring a new poster in which she holds The Little Engine That Could and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Readers can place an order for Dolly's poster online at the ALA Store.

    ALA is slated to officially confer the honorary membership upon Parton this June during its Annual Conference in Chicago.

    Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada
    ALA President, 2022-2023
    Adult Services Assistant Manager, Palos Verdes Public Library

  • 2.  RE: Time to share the good news about Dolly Parton!

    Posted Apr 20, 2023 09:20 PM
    This is wonderful news. This nomination process does not run itself. My hat is off to those who stewarded this timely and appropriate nomination and to the Board who approved it.

    Karen G. Schneider
    ALA Councilor at Large

  • 3.  RE: Time to share the good news about Dolly Parton!

    Posted Apr 20, 2023 10:29 PM
    In 2011, then-AASL President Nancy Everhart presented the President's Crystal Apple Award to Dolly Parton and the Imagination Library. With every year, more and more children have had their lives enriched by Ms. Parton's work. I am pleased to announce that ALA has awarded her this highest honor!

    Just wonderful, Sara
    Sara Kelly Johns
    Online Instructor, Syracuse University iSchool
    American Library Association Councilor-at-Large
    American Association of School Librarians Past President (2007-08)
    New York Library Association Past President (2014-15)
    67 Canaras Ave.
    Saranac Lake, NY 12983
    PH: 518-569-2339
    Twitter: @skjohns