SAN ANTONIO (August 13, 2020) – San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) has expanded its innovative partnership with local school districts to increase access to more eBooks and eAudiobooks for students just in time for the start of the school year. This unique collaboration, developed and piloted by SAPL and OverDrive, SAPL’s primary eBook and eAudiobook provider, strives to promote literacy and digital learning by combining the schools’ and SAPL’s more than 250,000 digital reading resources in one app called SORA. The app allows students to access age-appropriate reading materials without needing a library card. After piloting at SAPL, the program has now expanded to nationwide participation with libraries and schools across the country.
In August 2019, SAPL launched the program with Harlandale Independent School District and is now currently in partnership with Alamo Heights, East Central, Edgewood, Fort Sam Houston, Harlandale, Judson, North East, Northside, San Antonio, Somerset, South San Antonio, and Southside Independent School Districts. In addition to these public schools, two area private schools are also participating in the partnership: San Antonio Academy of Texas and Saint Mary’s Hall. SAPL’s goal is to forge partnerships with all local school districts and is currently in discussion with others to expand the program.
“One of the most important commitments the San Antonio Public Library has made to our community is to eliminate barriers to accessing Library resources. Our partnership with local school districts will assist their distance learning efforts by providing easier access to a wide variety of library resources by creating a single place to go for students and eliminating the need of a library card to access these important resources during the COVID-19 crisis,” explained Ramiro S. Salazar, San Antonio Public Library Director. “Students, teachers and caregivers are already experiencing significant adjustments to the learning process during this time. The Library is a critical community resource now and throughout the school year to support students with reading, homework assistance, virtual programming and more.”
The Sora app was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019 and is available for download through the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and on Chromebooks that support the Google Play Store and are available to students in school districts participating in the partnership. It is also available for use in web browsers at soraapp.com on any computer or smart device.
In addition to the unlimited access to the school’s collection of reading materials as well as the SAPL juvenile and young adult digital collection, Sora also supports teachers by offering education-specific tools such as achievement tracking, exportable notes, and reading progress markers that encourage individualized learning.
The entire San Antonio community can access San Antonio Public Library’s complete OverDrive eBook and eAudiobook collection through the award-winning Libby app. Readers can use Libby on any major device or computer, including Apple®, Android™ and Chromebook™. With Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle®” devices and apps [US only].
Both reading apps are built by OverDrive and OverDrive Education. To learn more, visit meet.soraapp.com and meet.libbyapp.com.
The San Antonio Public Library: changing lives through the power of information, imagination, and ideas.
For more than 110 years, the award-winning San Antonio Public Library (SAPL), has been a vital center for free learning, knowledge, communication, culture and enjoyment within the City of San Antonio and for all Bexar County residents. The Library system is comprised of a world-class Central Library, 28 branch libraries and a library outlet at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. Collections include an extensive collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies and music as well as physical items such as printed books and DVDs. All locations are hubs for Wi-Fi broadband access and provide access to computers and other digital technology. In addition, Central Library and branches offer programs to serve the needs and interests of the community, including programs for all ages that support early childhood literacy, education, culture and economic development. For more information, visit mysapl.org. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @mysapl.
About OverDrive and OverDrive Education
OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. We strive to create “a world enlightened by reading” by delivering the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media to a growing network of 45,000 libraries and schools in 78 countries. Our popular reading apps provide best-in-class user experience and tools for staff management: the Libby app for libraries is one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019 and Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the 2010s, while the student reading app Sora is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was named a Certified B Corp in 2017. www.overdrive.com
San Antonio: America’s 21st Century City
San Antonio is a global city with a dynamic economy and workforce, a deep cultural heritage and diverse communities that are resilient and welcoming. It is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country, nurturing entrepreneurship, encouraging investment and funding infrastructure. America’s seventh-largest city offers a vibrant business climate and growth opportunities in bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2015, UNESCO designated San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site – the first in Texas. Proudly called Military City, USA®, San Antonio is home to one of the largest populations of active duty military, veterans and crucial military commands. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov.