Ready. Set. READ!

Can you imagine a house without books? For many children in Edmonton this is their reality. The Edmonton Public Library provides amazing spaces, resources and classes that support early literacy, but many families still face barriers that impact their ability to fully use everything the library makes available. The global pandemic has made access even more challenging.

Ready. Set. READ! is a new EPL initiative in partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. It will deliver new books to children every month from birth to age five. These books are theirs to keep forever — for many children, this will be the first book they have ever owned. Support Ready. Set. READ! by attending An Evening with Eric Klinenberg. Tickets on sale now.

Free Books to Families in the Community

A child’s love of reading starts at home. Parents are their children’s first teacher. Research shows programs that place books in children’s homes are an effective tool in supporting early literacy.

The first five years of a child's life form the foundation for their development and learning, which impacts a child’s academic, economic and social success. Every experience matters, shaping their brain and capacity and attitude toward learning.

Ready. Set. READ! will be delivered in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, opens a new window, a successful book-gifting program that provides children one book a month from birth to five years old.

The Afonso family sit on a couch while reading a book to their baby
Early childhood education is the best investment society can make. (J.J. Heckman)

How the Program Works

Ready. Set. READ! supports families in building strong foundations of literacy and learning that will deepen their relationship with reading and the Library.

Every month, we send one age-appropriate book to your family’s house by mail. Each book is personalized with your child’s name and is selected by experts to meet your child’s development needs.

Baby Fern plays with a board book while being read to

Ready. Set. READ!Ready. Set. READ!

Your gift of $5.50/month will help gift a child their very first book.
Your gift of $5.50/month will help gift a child their very first book.

EPL and Dolly Parton Partnership

Ready. Set. READ! is delivered in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Canada is a free book gifting program devoted to inspiring a love of reading in the hearts of children everywhere. Operating since 1995, it currently distributes over 1 million books each month to children around the world. To learn more visit the Imagination Library.

Ways to Give


Donate Now

By Mail

Fund Development
7 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW
Edmonton AB T5J 2V4
Printable Donation Form

By Phone


Visit a Branch

Find your local branch

Frequently Asked Questions

  • While EPL core operations are funded through the City of Edmonton, some emerging programs and initiatives are funded through donations. EPL’s donors' generosity has helped support past projects such as the Welcome Baby program, epl2go literacy vans, and the revitalization of the Stanley A. Milner Library. 
  • Yes, tax receipts are issued for gifts over $20 once the donation has been processed.   

  • EPL is a responsible and accountable steward of public funds. With your donation, we hope to raise $1,000,000 by the end of 2021 with fundraising costs of 20%.

    Donations from this year’s campaigns will be used to support EPL’s priority projects which will provide learning and literacy resources to help meet our community’s growing and diverse needs. The Edmonton Public Library is incorporated in Edmonton, Alberta and our central branch is located at 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton AB T5J 2V4. Please reach out to our Fund Development team at 587-588-9034 or for more information.

  • Yes, you can donate in memory or honour of a loved one on our online form here. All donations in memory or in honour will be included in our annual report.

  • We currently accept donations online, by mail or in-person at one of our locations.

    Mailed donations can be sent to:

    Attn: Fund Development

    Edmonton Public Library

    7 Sir Winston Churchill Square

    Edmonton, Alberta

    T5J 2V4

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