Data shows dramatic results when students connect school reading app to their public library



WASHINGTON, D.C. – American Library Association Annual Meeting – June 18, 2019 Rakuten OverDrive, the leading ebook and audiobook service for libraries and schools, released data detailing a dramatic increase in reading by K-12 students. Ebook and audiobook reading increased over 240% when students connected their Sora classroom reading app to their local public library versus students solely accessing their school collection. In addition, student time spent reading ebooks and audiobooks nearly doubled since Sora was introduced to K-12 schools in September 2018. More information can be found here.

Schools and libraries experiencing this classroom-initiated reading surge include Berkeley (CA) Public Schools with students accessing the Berkeley Public Library, Liberty School District 53 (MO) students accessing the Mid-Continent Public Library, and Spring Branch ISD (TX) students accessing the Harris County Public Library.

“Sora provides a simple, effective way for Berkeley Public Library and Berkeley Unified School District to work together to meet the needs of the youth in our community,” said Sarah Dentan, Library Services Manager at Berkeley Public Library. “Since introducing Sora we have had nearly 10,000 ebooks and audiobooks borrowed by students, and we have seen circulation increase and welcomed in new users. When students are given access to select the titles of interest to them, they read more, and Sora makes access easy.”

Sora, the new student reading app released by OverDrive Education in September 2018, provides students access to ebooks and audiobooks from their school’s digital collection for classroom assignments and summer reading programs. A major innovation of the app is a prompt for students to add access to their local library which usually offers a larger selection of age- and grade-appropriate popular ebooks and audiobooks.

“Numerous studies have shown that when students read more, they achieve higher test scores and improve academically,” said Shannon Lichty, OverDrive Vice President of Partner Services. “Sora makes it easy for students to read classroom-assigned ebooks and audiobooks and encourages them to discover more books from their public library.”

How Sora inspires students to read more and the ease of connecting to public libraries will be on display at the Rakuten OverDrive Booth #2915 at the ALA Annual Conference at the Washington Convention Center, June 21-24, 2019.

Since 2003, OverDrive has partnered with public libraries – including 90+ percent of those in North America – to support reading and literacy programs with the industry’s largest collection of ebooks and audiobooks. These include titles in every subject and genre and for every audience and interests. As libraries transform and invest in the next generation of readers, they are using digital media to promote reading for children of all ages.  To find a library or school near you, visit  For more information about Sora, visit



About Rakuten OverDrive

OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. Named one of TIME’s Best iPhone and Android Apps of 2018, the award-winning Libby is the “one-tap reading app” for libraries. We are dedicated to “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 43,000 libraries and schools in 76 countries. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten.

David Burleigh
Director of Brand Marketing & Communications