Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Over recent months, we have conducted an in depth review of the literacy offer across the borough, one of the programmes that was considered during this review was the Imagination Library.

This review has recently come to a close and the results have led us to take the difficult decision to close the Imagination Library from 1st September 2019. This means that you will continue to receive books until the end of August. We remain fully committed to supporting the increase of literacy levels across Doncaster, and to help fostering an early love of reading in children across the borough.

Why has this decision to end the Imagination Library been made?

The decision to close the imagination library was made following the recommendations from a full review of the literacy offer across the borough.

Can’t you get the funding from somewhere else?

Funding for Imagination library came from an external School Forum DSG Grant, this grant covered an initial period of three years, and has now come to an end. We have explored a number of alternative external funding options to allow us to continue the scheme but unfortunately this has not been possible at this time.

How can I continue sharing new books with my child every month now?

There are still lots of FREE ways for you and your child to enjoy reading, including:

In addition, we will also be launching a new literacy hub in Doncaster, in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust and the DfE. The primary focus of this will be to work with disadvantaged communities to improve reading levels and ensure that children are competent readers by the end of primary school.

Doncaster Bookstart

Doncaster Council remains part of the national Bookstart programme, which gifts children 3 different reading packs at relevant stages of their development.

Bookstart provide FREE packs which are delivered to all children at the three key stages before they start school to help families read together with their children every day to inspire and develop a love of books and reading which has many benefits for children’s development.

Bookstart birth pack At the birth of your child, every parent receives a book to share with their baby, along with all the information about what packs will be available to them over the coming years and also information relating to joining the library.

Bookstart baby pack starts children on their reading journey as early as possible, by supporting babies and families to experience the joy of reading and its associated benefits. Reading with your baby from an early age fosters a love of reading which lasts a lifetime. The baby packs content varies, but will include two board books, a rhyme sheet and a booklet of tips and ideas for sharing books.

How do I get a baby pack? The bookstart baby packs are delivered in person to families by health, library and early year’s professionals, and practitioners who support parents and carers, ensuring that every child receives their Bookstart packs. The free packs are delivered to all children at three key stages before school to help families read together every day and inspire children to develop a love of books and reading and its associated benefits.

Bookstart treasure pack children aged 3-4 years the pack builds on the benefit of Bookstart Baby, and supports children and families to experience the joy of reading and its associated benefits. The pack includes a picture book for families to share, plus a friendly booklet with tips and ideas for reading together

How do I get a treasure pack? Packs are given to families by early years practitioners in nurseries, playgroups and other settings to help every child become a confident and enthusiastic learner. Inside the pack is a picture book for families to share, plus a friendly booklet with tips and ideas for reading together.

Additional needs pack Bookstart is for every child, and families are entitled to the universal Baby and Treasure packs alongside the gifting of additional needs packs. All the packs are free of charge to parents and carers of children aged 0-5 years.

  • Bookshine for children who are deaf there are two packs: Bookshine Baby (0-2 years old) and Bookshine Toddler (3-5 years old). Each pack has two books, a rhyme place mat (with babies signing) and guidance around sharing books. The toddler pack also includes a bookmark showing British Sign Language.
  • Booktouch for children with a visual impairment there are two packs: Booktouch Baby (0-2 years old) and Booktouch Toddler (3-5 years old). Each pack has two touch-and-feel books and guidance around sharing books with blind and partially sighted children.
  • Bookstart Star for children with conditions affecting their fine motor skills. This pack is available for children aged 3-5 who have disabilities that impact on or delay the development of their fine motor skills. Each pack has two board books, puppets for playing along with the story and guidance sheets.

Doncaster Libraries

Children can join a library from birth and are able to loan up to 12 books at a time. Libraries also host regular reading sessions for parents of younger children.

There are 25 libraries across Doncaster which all have a children’s section, find your local library by visiting the page: Branch libraries.

The great thing about visiting the library is that children are exposed to more books and magazines that you can possibly buy, they can loan up to 12 books on every visit, 2 DVD’s and 6 story tapes.  They can also access e-books available in the Digital Library.

Libraries have such a vast array of books on every topic you can think of as well as some that you hadn’t even considered, they can develop their own interests, anything and everything from princesses, ballerinas, dinosaurs or vehicles. Your local librarian will be on hand to recommend books.

Visiting the library regularly will help children develop a love for reading, another great benefit of taking children to the library is that all Doncaster libraries have activities for children, from rhyme sessions, story time, and craft sessions.  To see what activities are running at your local library visit the page Library events.

There is also the Summer reading challenge which combines FREE access to books, with fun, creative activities in the library during the summer holidays. Throughout the challenge, library staff and volunteers support the children, helping them to discover new authors and illustrators and to explore a wide range of different types of books.

To become a member of your local library pop into your local branch or find all the information as well as an e-form to join online.

Family Hubs

There are 12 Family Hubs across Doncaster, all of which host different sessions aimed at promoting early literacy.

Families are welcome with children of all ages from conception, through childhood to adolescence and even older if your child has a special need. Sessions run including Story time and Sing and Shake.

Last updated: 12 July 2019 15:10:31