School Library Services
Sora Digital Library: Quick Overview for Families and Students
What is our new Y5-12 District-Wide Digital Library? We have a new 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 have received 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. Here is a link to instructions on how to access and use Sora on district Chromebooks and iPads. Below are ways to access Sora (depending on your district device):
- Go to the Google Apps waffle in any Chrome tab and scroll down
- Go to https://soraapp.com/library/aapsmi
- Go to the Sora app on a district iPad
- Go to the Sora Schoology app in the left-hand menu of any Schoology Course
- Download the FREE app to your phone or tablet
How many books can students and staff borrow in Sora? Until we have a larger collection, all students and staff can borrow ONE eBook or audiobook at a time. If users connect their account to the public library, they can borrow another 15 titles! We are also in the process of making technical changes that will allow teachers additional check outs.
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 check outs 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 14 times the checkout limit in a seven day period, they will be unable to borrow another book for seven days from the moment the user tried to borrow the 15th book (see Sora message below). Since our checkout limit is currently 1 book, this allows for 14 checkouts in a rolling seven day period. 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. Here is a link to instructions on how to add the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services collection to our AAPS Sora.
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 SISS team members, such as a Reading Specialist, Teacher Consultant 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.
myON Digital Library: Quick Overview for Families and Students
How do I access and search for books in myON? AAPS elementary students have received instruction on how to access and use myON. Students can access myON through Clever. Here is a video that explains how to access and search myON on district Chromebooks and iPads.
What is myON? myON is a digital library subscription service that includes a core collection of more than 6,000 nonfiction and fiction titles from Capstone, a leading publisher of high-quality books for children. myON includes engaging texts in a variety of genres and formats. It also includes reading supports for teachers, as well as a suite of reading and writing tools to foster deep connections to the text. The core collection provides a mix of fiction (30 percent) and nonfiction (70 percent), with 10 percent of these titles available in Spanish.
Why did AAPS purchase a myON subscription? To provide unified, equitable access for our PreK-5 teachers and students to diverse, engaging, and relevant digital texts to increase, improve, and personalize reading instruction in an online learning or face to face teaching model.
What literacy tools are available in myON? Once you open a book in myON there are a number of literacy tools available such as a dictionary, highlighter, sticky notes, and a journal. Here is a link to a resource that explains how to use literacy tools in myON.
Where can I go to get general help with myON? Please go to the myON Help website, or contact your School Librarian or Building Literacy Expert.
AAPS School Library Services Vision
The Future Ready School Librarians of the Ann Arbor Public Schools provide resources, strategies, and connections to enable district leaders and librarians to work together to promote and implement innovative learning opportunities for students.
To do this, the School Library:
Our goals are to:
- Provides materials and programs that embrace a diverse population.
- Creates a safe, supportive and respectful environment.
- Invites discovery, collaborative student learning and achievement, staff collaboration and parent involvement.
- Ensure that students learn the 21st century skills, literacy, and technologies that prepare them to live, work, and succeed in an expanding digital environment.
- Support district-wide achievement goals through our roles as information specialists, teacher-leaders, instructional consultants, innovators, collaborators, instructional technologists, and educational visionaries.
- Ensure that the wide range of resources, technologies, and services are readily available and equitably accessible to meet learning and information needs of students and teachers alike.
- Collaborate closely with our Instructional Technology Department.
School Library Web Sites
Library Services Department Chair