As area educators seek more creative ways to support students’ learning, a key resource for schools is the local public library. Now, Chattanooga Public Library and Hamilton County Schools have formed an innovative partnership to increase students’ access to e-books and digital audiobooks by combining the library’s and schools’ digital reading resources in one app.
The library-school partnership provides safe access to thousands of age-appropriate titles for students’ use inside the classroom, at home, and anywhere - 24/7. Through Sora, the new student reading app for Hamilton County Schools, students can easily borrow from the schools’ collection of books, as well as from Chattanooga Public Library’s juvenile and young adult digital collection, by logging in with their school credentials. Sora also supports teachers by offering education-specific tools that individualize learning.
The Chattanooga Public Library has worked with Hamilton County Schools since 2014 to provide every student with a public library card, according to Lee Hope, head of children’s services at Chattanooga Public Library. This new partnership allows the library more support to school libraries. It came about in response to the pandemic, when Hamilton County Schools’ librarians identified the need to provide students more access to e-book and e-audio collections and reached out to the Chattanooga Public Library. Becky Covington, director of K-12 librarians for Hamilton County Schools, expressed appreciation for the actions of CPL to support students, families, and teachers by ensuring that students have access to the texts that support the HCS standards/curriculum through the Sora app.
The Sora app was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2019 and is available for Hamilton County students to download through the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and on Chromebooks that support the Google Play Store. It is also available for use in web browsers at https://soraapp on any computer.
The entire Chattanooga community can also borrow and read Chattanooga Public Library’s complete e-book and digital audiobook collection with a valid library card through the award-winning Libby app. Readers of all ages can select from virtually every subject ranging from mystery, romance, children’s, business and more. Libby can be used on any major device or computer, including Apple, Android, Chromebook, and Kindle.
by Nancy Carstens