Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 9, 2020
New school district library app available to students, employees

Tooele County School District employees and 7th through 12th grade students now have free access to over 700 ebooks and audiobooks.

The school district has teamed up with Sora app to offer free eBooks and audiobooks to secondary students and staff.

Sora app users can read and listen to digital items recently purchased by the district. Checked-out materials are available across multiple devices such as Chromebooks, tablets, laptops, desktops and smartphones.

“This is an exciting opportunity for secondary students and staff to have access to so many books online,” said Maresa Manzione, TCSD board of education president. “I hope the convenience and variety will be appreciated and used by everyone.”

Stansbury High and Tooele Junior high schools have been using the student reading app created by OverDrive for the past few years, but with the district’s buy-in, the resources are now available for all junior high and high school students, as well as employees.

“Before OverDrive’s Sora app, a student might only have access to a library once a week or once a month, but now students can have access to audio and eBooks anytime from anywhere,” said Aimee Perry, TCSD curriculum director. “Having readily available access to these items expands a reader’s options and empowers them to read even more. It’s like Netflix for books.” 

The free app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or from Google Play. Students and staff can also get access by visiting soraapp.com.

To sign in, users select Tooele County School District as their school and use the username and password associated with their @tooeleschools.org email address. 

For assistance retrieving TCSD email information, contact the district technology help desk at 435-884-7799 or email, helpdesk@tooeleschools.org.

Currently, the district’s digital Sora bookshelf offers more than 700 titles, including 551 eBooks and 163 audiobooks on 66 different subjects. 

Most items fall under the categories of young adult or juvenile in both fiction and nonfiction genres.

If a Sora app user has an active library account with the Stansbury Park, Tooele or Grantsville city libraries, they can connect their library account to the app as well. This will allow users to borrow books from the public library’s eBook and audio collection. However, the Sora app will limit items to the juvenile and young adult categories.

App features include auto return and holds, bookmarks, annotations, font selections and a built in dictionary function.

The app comes with digital achievement award badges and avatars to engage readers. It also keeps track of reading stats. Readers can see how many books they have read, their total reading time, average time per book and more.

While students can use the app for leisure reading, teachers can also use the app to make reading assignments. 

Although the Sora app is currently limited to 7th through 12th-grade students and staff members, Perry said options for elementary students will be looked at in the future.

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