Who is eligible to receive free books?
This program is open to all children who reside either full-time or part-time at an address within Charles County, Maryland. Children must be 4 years and 11 months old or younger to qualify. Any child older than 4 years and 11 months at the time of registration is not eligible for the program.
How can I register my child to receive free books?
Click on the Register Today! button on this page and fill out the online form on that page, visit one of our branches to fill out a paper application, or get assistance from staff for the online or paper application when you visit one of our branches.
How do I know if my child was accepted into the program?
If you provide an email address with your registration you will be notified via email when the registration is approved or entered into our system. If you do not have an email address you will need to contact a CCPL branch for assistance, but please keep in mind that it does take 6-9 weeks for books to start arriving after approval.
How do I get my login information?
If an email address was added to your child’s record upon registration, this will serve as your username. If you do not know your password, please request a new password using the New Password/Forgot Password link on the login page. If your link has expired or is invalid, you can request a new link at any time by visiting www.imaginationlibrary.com/bos.
If there is not an email address on your child’s account, you will need to contact a CCPL branch for assistance.
Can I register my niece, nephew, grandchild, etc., even though I am not their parent or guardian?
No. You must be the child’s parent or legal guardian to register them for this program.
How will my child receive their books?
All books will be delivered to the address you provided us at registration by the U.S. Postal Service. If the book does not fit in your mailbox or the post office is unable to deliver your book for any other reason, you will be left specific instructions on how to retrieve your books from your local post office. If you believe that you are having issues with your delivery please confirm that you have the correct address listed in your account information and then contact the post office closest to your mailing address.
The Library is not responsible for lost or stolen packages The books are processed through Dolly Parton Imagination Library, CCPL has no control over this process. The books are sent through and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, therefore we do not have control over the delivery process.
How long does it take to start receiving books?
After you register your child, it may take up to six to nine weeks for the first book to arrive. After that, the books will arrive every month.
Do all children receive the same books?
Each child within an age group receives the same monthly book.
Imagination Library makes sure children receive an appropriate book by allocating them to an age group based on their year of birth. For example, children born in 2019 will receive board books with minimal text focusing on nurture and attachment, whereas a child born in 2015 will receive a softcover picture book, covering more complex concepts.
A child enrolled from birth to their fifth birthday will build their own home library of up to 60 books. Learn more about the types of books available here.
What happens if I move?
If you move, please log into your account to change the primary address you have listed in your account. You may also contact us to help you make this change to your account. Please keep in mind if you move outside of Charles County, MD, you will no longer be eligible to receive books through the Imagination Library of Charles County. You will need to check the availability of an Imagination Library in the area where you are moving here. Please allow up to 30 days for changes to your account to take effect.
When will my child stop receiving books?
Upon turning 5 years of age, your child will stop receiving his/her monthly book. In addition, if your child moves to an address outside of Charles County, they will no longer be eligible to receive books.
What if I have more than one child who is eligible?
As long as your children are under the age of 4 years and 11 months and live in Charles County, they are eligible for the program. Regardless of the amount of eligible children in your household, every eligible child will receive their own book each month.
What kinds of books will you be sending?
Children will receive books that are appropriate for their age. Books are selected by professionals who choose books that reflect a diversity of people and cultures, and that promote self-esteem and a love of reading.
Do you offer bilingual books? How do I get bilingual books?
Yes, the Imagination Library does include some bilingual (English/Spanish) books for children living in the U.S., and we are always working to expand that selection. You can see a full list of this year’s books, including the bilingual options, here.
Do you offer audio books or books in Braille?
As of now, thanks to a collaborative effort between Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Penguin Group, USA, an ever expanding collection of titles will be available as free downloadable children’s audio books and for those who prefer, there will be many titles available in braille from APH. These will be offered free-of-charge to eligible families and may be purchased at a low cost by all others. For more information, visit https://imaginationlibrary.com/usa/audio-braille/.
Is there a registration deadline?
No. Registration is ongoing. However, please keep in mind that only children ages birth to 4 years and 11 months old are eligible to receive books. If your child is older than 4 years and 11 months at the time of registration, they will not be eligible for the program.
What can I do if my child is NOT eligible for the program?
If your child is too old or does not live in Charles County, there are still plenty of ways that you can use your local library to help your child become a better and more active reader. The Library has programming for school aged children and Story times for children from birth-5 years old. Visit our events calendar to find our programming for all ages.
CCPL also has an early literacy program called 500 by 5, where children ages birth to 5 years old can receive a free tote bag and a book tracking activity book to track their reading. There is no zip code requirement to participate. Click here for more information.
What if I no longer want my child to receive free books?
If you no longer want to receive books, you can log into your account and select to discontinue your book delivery at any time.
I’ve stopped receiving books, what should I do?
If your child stopped receiving books, please contact us so we can make sure your account and mailing address is up to date.
What do I do when I’m done with my books?
We believe these books have great value and can be read over and over. Many times children will want to read books over and over again before completely moving on from them. Books also find value when passed along to family and friends.
How can I make a donation to the Imagination Library of Charles County?
Visit our Support CCPL page to learn more about all of the ways you can help CCPL keep this wonderful, free program going.