Digital books and audio books again available to students

Just in time for March is Reading Month, Dearborn Public School students will again be able to access digital books and audio books online.

The district has brought back the Sora digital book service after working with developers and the Wayne County Consortium of schools to ensure the titles meet Dearborn Public Schools’ selection criteria.  

Sora allows Dearborn Public Schools’ students to browse, check-out and read online by signing in through Clever, as they do for other online programs. The Sora app can also be installed and used on phones and tablets.  This allows students to use their district ID and password to access digital materials on Sora. In the 21 months the district previously provided Sora, students checked out more than 31,000 digital titles.

“We are excited to again be able to offer this service to conveniently get more books into the hands of students whenever and wherever they want to read,” said Superintendent Glenn Maleyko.  “We thank the Wayne County Consortium and Sora for working with us to help ensure that the materials available through the service are all appropriate for students at that grade level.”

Dearborn Public Schools and many other districts began offering books through Sora during the pandemic. Sora is a division of Overdrive.  However, concerns arose in the fall of 2022 that Sora was allowing students to access titles that did not meet the district’s standards for age appropriateness.  The district disconnected the student accounts until the issue could be resolved.  

Since then Sora’s technology was updated to allow districts better control of the collection offered to their students. Dearborn Schools librarians have reviewed the titles in the Sora ebook and audiobook collection to ensure they meet Dearborn Public Schools’ selection criteria.  Some titles were removed or restricted to certain grade levels.

Dearborn students are also able to see titles listed through the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services provided by the Dearborn Public Library. However, students can only check out those books if their parents have provided them with a public library card. The Dearborn Public Library is not part of Dearborn Public Schools.

Parents that do not wish their student to have access to Sora’s electronic books or audiobooks can complete the media materials opt-out form. The form can also be used to keep students from checking out physical materials in the district’s 30 school media centers.