Frequently Asked Questions

What is Imagination Library?

Imagination Library is a free, early literacy program that delivers to children age birth to five a new, age-appropriate book in the mail each month. Imagination Library promotes the love of reading and learning.

Is my child eligible?

All children, under the age of 5, that live in Onondaga County are eligible to receive Imagination Library books, at no cost to the family and regardless of income. They will receive one book per month from birth to their fifth birthday. Sorry, registrations received within 10 weeks of a child’s 5th birthday cannot be processed in time for the child to receive a book.

How do I sign up my child?

Parents and guardians are encouraged to register online here.

After we sign up, how long will it take to get our first book?

Approximately twelve weeks after your registration form has been received, books will begin arriving at your home and will continue to arrive until your child turns five or you move out of Onondaga County.

What if I have more than one child?

Each child may be signed up to receive their very own Imagination Library! Imagination Library’s selection panel rotates some books in the Library each year, so that siblings do not receive full sets of identical titles.

Is the program really free?

Yes! Imagination Library is intended as a gift to all children, therefore it is absolutely free for any child from birth to age five who lives in Onondaga County, regardless of family income! All we ask is that families use the books to read together!

Does my child get to keep the books?

Yes! These books are your child’s to keep forever! The Imagination Library creates a love of book ownership as a way to also encourage a love of reading as an everyday activity.

How often will we get books?

Your child will receive a new, age-appropriate book each month in the mail until the child’s fifth birthday.

Can I sign up my out-of-town grandchild, niece or nephew in the Imagination Library?

Sorry, only children who live in Onondaga County are eligible to enroll. We encourage you to see if Imagination Library is offered in their home community. Please visit to find out where the program is available.

My grandchild, niece or nephew lives in the qualifying area – can I sign them up to receive books through Imagination Library?

A parent or guardian must sign the registrations form for Imagination Library. If a grandparent, aunt or uncle completes the form, they must have a parent’s signature on the form. We encourage parents to complete the form directly, however.

How are the books picked? Will they be appropriate for my child?

A blue ribbon committee of childhood education experts selects the books for the Imagination Library, which includes such well-loved classics as The Little Engine That Could, Spot Goes to the Farm, Snowy Day, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten.

The committee also determines an age-appropriate timeline for book themes, including: visual and playful stimulation in year one; repetition and body awareness in year two; love, colors and letters in year three; diversity of others and poetry in year four; and finally, riddles, science and appreciation in year five. They also offer some bilingual books featuring Spanish and English text on the same page.