School Library News
Sora Digital Library: Quick Overview for Families and Students
What is our Y5-12 District-Wide Digital Library? Sora is our district-wide independent reading digital library for all Y5-12 grade students. It contains ebooks and audiobooks that can be borrowed by AAPS users. Students may also have a title assigned to them for their curricular needs.
How do I access and use Sora? Any AAPS student or staff member can access Sora using their AAPS Google login. Elementary students receive instruction on how to access and use Sora from their school librarian. Secondary students may receive this instruction from their school librarian or from their English teacher. Below are ways to access Sora (depending on your district device):
- Go to Clever
- Go to the Sora Schoology app on the left-hand menu of any Schoology Course
- Go to the Google Apps waffle in any Chrome tab and scroll down
- Download the FREE app to your phone or tablet
How many books can students and staff borrow in Sora? All students and staff can borrow TWO eBooks/audiobooks at a time. If users connect their account to the public library, they can borrow another 15 titles!
Why sample a book before borrowing it? Please sample a book before choosing to borrow it. Users can sample as many books or audiobooks as they like! Sampling does not impact the book borrowing limit. It also preserves checkouts for a specific book for students that really want to read it.
How long is the loan or borrowing period? Ann Arbor Public Schools Sora books are checked out for 28 days. They are automatically returned at the end of that time. A book can be renewed within 3 days of its due date unless there is a hold on the book. Then a user will need to place a hold and get back in line to borrow it out again. Most books can be returned early. All Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (through the Ann Arbor District Library) books have a 14-day loan period.
Can a book be put on hold? Yes. Users can put one book on hold. When the hold is available, the user will see a red dot on the notification bell in their Sora portal. Sora does not send emails when a hold is available. Users can borrow the hold when it is available or freeze the hold for seven days. Once available, holds will expire after three days.
Can someone be prevented from borrowing books in Sora? Yes. If anyone using Sora borrows more than 28 times in a seven-day period, they will be unable to borrow another title for seven days from the moment the user tried to borrow the 29th title. Users prevented from borrowing books in our AAPS Sora collection can still use Sora to borrow eBooks from the public library collection.
How do I add the public library’s collection to my AAPS Sora collection? The Ann Arbor District Library and its partners (Midwest Collaborative for Library Services) have generously agreed to allow all AAPS staff and students to add their eBook collection to Sora. Students do not need a library card, just an AAPS Google account. They can borrow an additional 15 books at a time, and hundreds of checkouts per seven-day period.
Can I send a book to my Kindle? Yes. Here is a link to instructions on how to send a Sora book to your Kindle.
Does Snap & Read work with Sora? Yes. Snap and Read works with eBooks that are text files (mostly words) but not with graphic novels and many picture books because they are image files. Here is a link to instructions.
What if a student needs an audiobook as part of their IEP or 504? Contact your building's Special Education team (Reading Specialist, Teacher Consultant, and/or Building Literacy Expert) to see if the student qualifies for access to Bookshare. This is a federally funded program that has special permissions under copyright law to provide access to materials in audio format, which means almost any curriculum can be made available including textbooks.
When Sora doesn’t seem to be working well, is there a place to go to see if there are any outages or problems? Yes. Go to the OverDrive (parent company of Sora) status page.
Where can I go to get general help with Sora? Please go to the Sora Help website, or contact your school librarian. Or access this LiveBinder resource.