Stack of children's books

Free books to your doorstep in New Mexico? Thanks Dolly Parton!

Stack of children's books

Updated on December 14, 2021

Free books to your doorstep in New Mexico? Thanks Dolly Parton!

We all want our kids to have everything they need to be healthy and strong. When it comes to their brains, one of the best activities for families may come as a surprise. It’s storytime! Reading out loud together, even for babies in the babbling stage, comes highly recommended by all the experts. 

This is because it attends to many needs at once. When you hold your child and read them a story, it builds language skills. At the same time, it creates a sense of stability and connection, soothing anxiety and promoting healthy attachment. Even the youngest babies love to be held and hear the sound of your voice.

Since storytime is such a great way to help your little one grow, we looked for some free resources in New Mexico. And what we found is a treasure trove for New Mexico families that we are excited to share with you.

In New Mexico You Can Get FREE Books Right To Your Doorstep 
There are many great resources that help New Mexico families find fun and educational books, from local libraries to pre-K programs. But Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library tops our list. Why? It’s a simple sign up and then you start receiving free books in the mail. That’s right! Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter your family’s income. 

The original Imagination Library started 30 years ago in Tennessee (Dolly Parton’s home state). Now, the program is all over the US.


In New Mexico, the program first arrived in 2010 thanks to Loren and Barbara Nelson, two retired teachers living in Grant County. It started with only eight children, but now, thanks to growing partners, the Imagination Library sends books to approximately 19,000 New Mexico kids each month. There are 43 New Mexico chapters of the Imagination Library currently covering 31 of the state’s 33 counties, and those numbers continue to grow. 

It might sound too good to be true, but it’s not, and you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s what New Mexico families are saying: 

“Having a variety of books sustains interest and fosters the natural curiosity of our little one. She loves her books! Really!! Hugs them. Sleeps with them. At one year she is ‘reading’ to Mommy, applauding herself for doing a good job! I hope this lasts forever.”

“My oldest loves to get the books in the mail and carries the books around for days asking everyone in the house and even visitors to read it. The baby loves the pictures and sits longer and longer while being read to. We love this program.”

“I have daughters of different ages and they enjoy sharing the books they receive. They also enjoy taking their books to share with their grandparents.”

Thanks to the Nelsons and other New Mexico partners, the Imagination Library includes books in Spanish.

Does this program like something your family would enjoy? 
Here’s what you need to know to sign up:
The Imagination Library program is open to children between the ages of zero and five. To find out if your community is served by an Imagination Library chapter, visit the organization’s website and input your mailing address. If your zip code is eligible, you will be able to register your child for up to five years of monthly book deliveries totally free of charge.* Want to talk to your local chapter representative to learn more? You can find your local program’s contact information through the Imagination Library affiliate locator.

It’s never been easier to share the magic of reading with your family. The Imagination Library covers the cost of books and shipping, and sends a new age appropriate book to your mailing address every month. That means you can spend less time finding good books and more time snuggling with your child and sharing your favorite stories together!

As a parent, it can be hard to keep up with everything your growing child needs, but remember, you’re already doing so many wonderful things to help them grow. 

Decorative Blue Background

Did you know?  
The first three years of a child’s life are responsible for 80% of their brain development? These early years are an important time when the foundations of learning, empathy, and language development are set.

*Please note that while New Mexico does have a large number of active Imagination Library chapters, the program does not yet serve all zip codes in the state. Also, each local chapter has different funding sources and capacity, and thus cannot offer guarantees of individual coverage. For a complete list of New Mexico chapters and contact info for each regional chapter, visit the Imagination Library affiliate locator page.

Did you find this article helpful?
Subscribe to Bright By Text to get more free tips and resources for your child’s journey, right to your phone!