Grant County couple brings Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to New Mexico | KOB 4

Grant County couple brings Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to New Mexico

Emily Jaceks
September 13, 2018 08:31 AM

GRANT COUNTY, N.M. -  "Everywhere I go, the kids call me the book lady," Dolly Parton said.

She may be known for her country hits, but for years Dolly Parton has been giving out books to homes all over the country, with the help of people like Barbara and Loren Nelson. 


"Dolly started in an underserved mining area. And we thought we know an underserved mining area," Loren Nelson said. 

These retired school teachers began Dolly's Imagination Library in Grant County with just a thousand dollars of their own money and donations from a few dozen businesses. 

"There's great poverty. The people in Grant County can't afford to buy books," Nelson said. "We know because of all kinds of research how important it is to have books in the home. And quality books, not just for reading, but the snuggle, the family bonding. And so we decided this is going to be our passion."

While Dolly takes care of choosing and shipping the books, the local affiliates are in charge of raising the funds. 

"We kind of work month-to-month-to-month, but we've been able to keep the program going," Nelson said.

Now, they've expanded into 22 of New Mexico's 33 counties. 18 of those are just partial expansions, and Bernalillo County is one example of that. 

"I only have funds to work with families that work with zip codes in 87105 and 87121. And as we raise more money we'll open up more zip codes. We're anxious to do that," said John Heinrich, President of Libros for Kids, Imagination Library in Bernalillo County.

If you'd like to sign up for the program, go to and you can see if your zip code participates. Or to donate, go to that website as well to connect with a local affiliate.


Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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