The Sedona Library and Verde Valley Imagination Library celebrated 5 years of free books for children in Sedona through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with a party at Storytime March 23. In addition to the usual stories and games, a special guest dressed as the Cat in the Hat delighted the kids.
 Five years ago in March 2012, registration for the Imagination Library sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sedona began with a Launch Party at the Sedona Library's two locations, West Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek.  Soon each registered child began receiving a free, age-appropriate book in the mail from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
After learning about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program, Rotarian David Simmer with the support of then Youth Services Chair, Jennette Bill, convinced the Rotary Club to take on the project with the hope that the program would have the community support needed to continue in Sedona and grow to neighboring communities. The support has been wonderful. Many supporters of the Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off are primarily motivated by the Imagination Library program and several people have become subscription contributors with monthly or annual contributions.
In July 2016 the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona awarded the Rotary Club of Sedona a $25,000 grant to partially fund the first year of expansion to the entire Verde Valley. With additional support from the Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks, Rotary Club of the Verde Valley, Beaver Creek School District, Camp Verde Library, Cottonwood and Clarkdale Libraries children served has increased from 400 to over 1,200 in the last eight months. This has occurred under the leadership of Dr. Jean Barton, who joined the Rotary Club of Sedona primarily to support this program.
On March 16, 2017 the IRS issued a letter of Determination that the Verde Valley Imagination Library is a tax exempt corporation. David Simmer's vision of the program covering the entire Verde Valley has been realized. In a couple of years, David is slated to be Rotary District Governor for the whole northern Arizona. Wonder what he'll be envisioning next?

Rotarians and VVIL supporters in Cat-in-the-Hat hats from left:
Susan Simon, Jennette Bill, Wendy Bialek-Kling, Dave Young and Kenyon Taylor.