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Ballarat Imagination Library

When you help a child to read,  you help a child to dream.

United Way Ballarat’s BALLARAT READS program has brought the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Ballarat.

The idea is simple: mail every child in Ballarat, every month, an appropriate book, especially chosen for their age and developmental stage, for the first five years of their life so that when they get to school, books are already a part of their life.

The research is clear; children who have books around them before they get to school will succeed. Children who have no books, without the love of reading, start the race behind and they never catch up…

The program is free for parents or guardians to enrol any child, regardless of income living in the 3350, 3351, 3352, 3355, 3356, 3357 postcodes.

The money to pay for the books and postage is raised by the community through United Way Ballarat and it costs just $180 per child, per year.  That’s only $15 a month to put a quality book into the hands of a child here in our community

So help us to make Ballarat a reading city, where the love of reading leads to learning and improves chances of success for our children and their futures.

UW Dolly Banner v4How it works

United Way Ballarat’s Ballarat Reads program, in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Penguin Books and local community partners, will deliver high-quality books to homes each month for kids aged birth to 5yrs.  In addition, it will provide support and resources to families as well as community events to make reading fun and engaging for children!




Application Form to Join The Ballarat Imagination Library

Please complete the form below to add your child to the Ballarat Reads program.

PLEASE NOTE: There is currently a waiting list for participants in the program.  A member of the team will be in contact once they have reached the top of the list.

Ballarat Imagination Library Registration Form

  • Address Details

  • At this stage only children living in the listed postcodes are eligible to register.
  • Parent or Legal Guardian's Details

  • Office use only



What is the Ballarat Imagination Library?

posted by United Way Ballarat, 02 Nov 2017

United Way Ballarat is partners with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to provide children in Ballarat an age appropriate book, each month, for the first five years of their life? The Dolly Parton Imagination Library delivers over 1 million books each month to young readers around the world, with the aim to engage young children …read more


Front Page News!! 100,000th Imagination Library book delivered

posted by pmckee, 25 Nov 2016

When Rieley Glasson was just a tiny baby, the Ballarat Imagination Library was introduced.  The program, administered by United Way Ballarat, delivers free, brand-new, age-appropriate books to children in the Ballarat area to develop a love of reading and improve school readiness.  Through the generosity of local people who sponsor the program, Rieley was one …read more


Ballarat Imagination Library – Update

posted by pmckee, 21 Jun 2016

After two and a half years of the Ballarat Imagination Library in Ballarat, we have mailed 9, 788 books to local children, giving them the opportunity to develop a love for reading and readiness for school.   Some other statistics are below: 445 Children currently receiving Ballarat Imagination Library books each month   145 Children …read more


Ballarat Imagination Library at Springfest

posted by pmckee, 21 Dec 2015

The Ballarat Imagination Library again provided a reading corner and book swap as part of the Children’s Wunderfest area at the Springfest Market Day. The area also hosted: The Ballarat East Men’s Shed, who helped children create wooden plant holders The York Street Church of Christ, who helped children create Christmas cards Masters, who helped …read more


Tip Sheets July, August, September

posted by pmckee, 22 Sep 2015

 SEPTEMBER 2015 TIP SHEETS Books Include: Peepo, Peppa Pig Georges First Day, Slinki Malinki Early Bird, Who Sank the Boat, Mister Seahorse and The Bunyip of Berkerleys Creek AUGUST 2015 TIP SHEETS Books include: My First Truck, My Little Carry Books Tractors, Hippopotamus Eating Cake , Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, Wanted The Pefect Pet and The-True-Story-of-Three-Little-Pigs JULY 2015 TIP …read more


223 More Children to receive books

posted by pmckee, 10 Aug 2015

A significant new funding stream for United Way Ballarat’s Imagination Library was officially announced on Thursday night, July 23. A major contributor to many of the issues facing our community is low literacy.  Tackling that issue at the grass roots, by providing the means for families to embrace reading from birth, is the aim of the …read more


June Reading Tips 2015

posted by pmckee, 17 Jun 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the June Books.


Book nook and swap on again at the Rug Up Ballarat winter festival

posted by pmckee, 03 Jun 2015

The Rug Up Ballarat winter festival is on again 20-21 June, 10.00am – 4pm at the Mining Exchange. The Ballarat Imagination Library will feature again in a cosy corner where children can sit and read a story with their parent. Children can bring a book to swap for another or even just select a book …read more


Will you help turn the statistics around?

posted by pmckee, 03 Jun 2015

Did you know that nearly 49% of people over 15 in Ballarat are unable to read beyond the level of around grade 4? That means that in a world full of forms, and so called “fine print” 49% of our community are not able to clearly understand the meaning of what they may be signing. …read more


May Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 28 May 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the May books.  


April Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 13 May 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the April books.  


March Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 18 Mar 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the March Books.


February Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 23 Feb 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the February Books.


January Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 05 Feb 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the January Books.


December Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 18 Dec 2014

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the December Books.  




United Way Ballarat is working to advance the common good of our community by focusing on Education, Income and Health.  These are the building blocks for a good life—a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.  United Way Ballarat asks all the citizens of Ballarat and surrounding areas to do three things: GIVE – money and goods; ADVOCATE – on behalf of those who cannot; and VOLUNTEER – to invest time in our community More about United Way Ballarat


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