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Day 8: Nashville

Carnegie libraries visited: Nashville East and Nashville Carnegie

Pigeon Ford, in eastern Tennessee, was not on my itinerary. Maybe it should have been. It does have two public libraries, but its main attraction is Dolly Parton. Parton, as you may know, was the daughter of an illiterate sharecropper (and, later, independent farmer). Dolly created the Imagination Library in honor of her father. The Imagination Library does not exist in physical form. The “Library” mails one book each month to enrolled children from their birth until they enter kindergarten. As of 2024, 1600 local communities in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland had enrolled almost 850,000 children in the “Library”. In 2018 Parton donated her children’s book Coat of Many Colors (named after her signature song) to the Library of Congress. It was the 100 millionth book sent out by the Imagination Library. In a happy coincidence, more than 100 million copies of Dolly’s albums have been sold worldwide.

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