The Daniel Boone Regional Library has introduced a new service offering digital books for children in more than 25 languages.
The library system, which includes Callaway County Public Library, is the first in the country to offer the Languages Other Than English for Kids program.
Children can listen to and read along, either in a foreign language or English.
Public services librarian Nina Sappington said the library's interest in the LOTE service reflects its cooperation with schools and children's education — many families in Columbia, where the library's largest branch is located, speak a language other than English at home.
"It's a good thing to have stories for kids in their own language," Sappington said.
Sappington said the library wasn't initially aware that it would be the first to use offer the database.
"I think it's interesting. It seems like a really great idea for a kids database," she said. "It's a really interesting concept and we wanted to be able to offer it."
Languages offered include Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish, among others. Most of the stories are for children ages 3-10.
The library wants to get the word out about the program so families can begin taking advantage of it. Library patrons can long in to enjoy the stories at www.languagesonline4kids.com/daniel-boone.
"We really want to get the word out," Sappington said. "I hope the kids like it."