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Parkway, Clayton School Districts Partner to Provide e-Reading Access

Parkway, Clayton School Districts Partner to Provide e-Reading Access

Photo by Claymont librarian Julie Boatner, students is Sudhami Pedaballe.jpeg

Students at Claymont Elementary School used e-reading technology before schools closed.

Before the coronavirus forced schools and libraries to close, a partnership between the St. Louis County Library and two school districts provided a relevant resource for students and teachers working from home.

By using the Sora reading app created by OverDrive, a digital company serving 43,000 libraries and schools worldwide, students enrolled in the Parkway and Clayton school districts gain access to reading materials from participating districts in Missouri, as well as St. Louis County Library’s juvenile and young adult collections.

“Our partnership with St. Louis County Library has allowed our students access to thousands more e-books and audiobooks than our small district could ever offer,” states Victoria Jones, the Clayton district’s library media specialist, in a press release. “Sora has so many cool features that give students the opportunity to individualize their reading experiences.”

Jones states this is a cost-efficient way for a small district to expand its resources. In addition to aiding students, it benefits teachers in a number of ways. Sora gives them the ability to assign e-books and audiobooks and to create curated sets of reading materials. Students can use the note-taking and highlighting features and share these marks with their teacher because the app integrates with Google Suite.

Sora was a secondary option for most students while schools were open, but since then, it has become a major resource, Jones states. Some students might lack the necessary technology at home, so the district has been working to provide all students with a Google Chromebook or an Apple iPad, as well as to ensure students have Wi-Fi access.

County residents can access the St. Louis County Library’s complete e-book and e-audiobook collection by downloading the Libby app, compatible with any major device or computer, including Apple, Android, Chromebook and Kindle. Simply select St. Louis County Library in the app and enter your library card number.

Don’t have a library card? No problem. Register for a card online at slcl.org/content/library-cards, and gain access to various online resources through the Books, eMedia & More pulldown.

“Having a library card opens up a world of opportunity,” Eric Button, St. Louis County Library deputy director, states in a press release. “Libraries provide access to books, educational databases, technology and programs – resources that make for successful students and future leaders in the St. Louis region.” 

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