Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for libraries participating in the IDEA.

School Library FAQ
Public Library FAQ

School Libraries

  1. What does it cost to participate in the IDEA?
  2. Are there ongoing cost to participate?
  3. What criteria does ICfL use to select the eBooks/Audio books?
  4. What is the checkout period for e-books?
  5. I am ready to get books into the hands of my students, how do I get started?
  6. How do I make sure students can only access age-appropriate titles?
  7. My small school doesn’t have a student information system, does that mean we cannot participate?
  8. We filled out the SORA application, now what?
  9. Will the ICfL purchase multiple copies of a popular title?
  10. Does each student need to add the IDEA collection to their Sora app, or can we do it from the Admin level?
  11. I am confused about how Sora, IDEA, and OverDrive all work together, can you explain?
  12. My students don’t have mobile devices–our school uses laptops. Can they still check out e-books?
  13. We want to have a small reading group use the same title at the same time. Is this possible with an e-book?
  14. Do you have titles in other languages for our English Language Learner (ELL) students?
  15. Do you have journal articles for research or is the collection primarily books?
  16. What devices can my students use to access the e-books?
  17. Are e-books available during the summer?
  18. I have a different question!
  1. What does it cost to participate in the IDEA?
    There is no cost to your school/district. Your district has the option to purchase your own titles, which would not be shared beyond your school district. Additional purchases are NOT required.
  2. Are there ongoing cost to participate?
    No, there are no ongoing costs for schools to participate in the IDEA
  3. What criteria does ICfL use to select the eBooks/Audio books?
    Take a look at our collection development policy which includes criteria for purchasing at https://libraries.idaho.gov//wp-content/uploads/Electronic-Resources-Collection-Development-Policy-for-the-ICfL.pdf
  4. What is the checkout period for e-books?
    Two weeks is the standard checkout period for e-books and e-audio titles from the IDEA collection.
  5. I am ready to get books into the hands of my students, how do I get started?
    Follow the easy steps found at https://libraries.idaho.gov/idea/#school. Remember your entire school district must sign up.
  6. How do I make sure students can only access age-appropriate titles?
    When setting up the Sora connection to your school, you will be allowed to choose age parameters. The default filtering in Sora is those in grades K-5 have access to only juvenile titles, grades 6-8 have access to only juvenile and YA titles, and those in grades 9-12 (as well as faculty and staff) have access to juvenile, YA, and general adult titles. However, you can contact OverDrive/Sora to change those defaults if you want. Mature titles are not available through the Sora app. (Unfortunately, you cannot adjust individual titles.)
  7. My small school doesn’t have a student information system, does that mean we cannot participate?
    You can still participate. OverDrive has a way to help you, using their User Login Manager-. Contact OverDrive Education Account Executive Suzy Nash (snash@overdrive.com) for details.
  8. We filled out the SORA application, now what?
    Take a look at the multi-step process for completing access to the IDEA collection, found at https://libraries.idaho.gov/idea/#school.
  9. Will the ICfL purchase multiple copies of a popular title?
    Yes, multiple copies will be purchased as holds for those titles increase.
  10. Does each student need to add the IDEA collection to their Sora app, or can we do it from the Admin level?
    Each student will need to add the IDEA collection to their personal Sora app. This only needs to happen one time. Here is a short video showing how that is done.
  11. I am confused about how Sora, IDEA, and OverDrive all work together, can you explain?
    OverDrive is the company from which we are purchasing e-books and e-audio. OverDrive has created an app specifically for schools:Sora. Students will access and read e-books and e-audio through the Sora app. IDEA is the statewide collection/library of e-books and e-audio from which students may checkout titles.
  12. My students don’t have mobile devices–our school uses laptops. Can they still check out e-books?
    Yes, your students can access all the same titles from the website https://soraapp.com/.
  13. We want to have a small reading group use the same title at the same time. Is this possible with an e-book?
    While the IDEA collection doesn’t have the capacity to share books through simultaneous use, OverDrive does offer some options for schools to purchase simultaneous use models or rent titles as needed. Please contact your OverDrive school representative for details.
  14. Do you have titles in other languages for our English Language Learner (ELL) students?
    We are currently purchasing titles in Spanish as well as English.
  15. Do you have journal articles for research or is the collection primarily books?
    The IDEA collection contains e-books and e-audio titles. The ICfL does provide journal articles, newspapers, and other reference resources through our LiLI service. Visit http://www.lilischools.org/ from more info.
  16. What devices can my students use to access the e-books?
    Android, Apple, and Chromebooks will allow access to all the titles. Kindles will have limited access.
  17. Are e-books available during the summer?
    Yes, all items are available 24/7.
  18. I have a different question!
    Please contact Tammy Hawley-House at Tammy.Hawleyhouse@libraries.idaho.gov or Dylan Baker at Dylan.Baker@libraries.idaho.gov

Public Libraries

  1. What does it cost to participate in the IDEA?
  2. If my library doesn’t have OverDrive, can we still participate?
  3. How will we keep up with hold requests if we share our materials with other IDEA libraries?
  4. Will my patrons have priority for my library’s items?
  5. How can I see stats for items other libraries are using?
  6. Do we have to share our Advantage titles?
  7. What criteria do the ICfL use to select the e-books/e-audio titles?
  8. My library already has OverDrive, what advantages are there to participating in the alliance?
  9. Can my library more easily share our OverDrive collection with students in our service area without participating in the IDEA?
  10. Will the ICfL purchase multiple copies of a popular title?
  11. I want my library to join the IDEA, but we are part of an OverDrive Consortium. Can we join?
  12. Can a patron search for one title across all the libraries’ collections?
  13. What is the checkout period?
  14. I have a different question!
  1. What does it cost to participate in the IDEA?
    There is no additional cost for libraries with OverDrive collections to participate in the IDEA.
  2. If my library doesn’t have OverDrive, can we still participate?
    Public libraries without OverDrive collections cannot participate, but are encouraged to start an independent OverDrive collection or join an existing OverDrive Consortium to leverage buying power.
  3. How will we keep up with hold requests if we share our materials with other IDEA libraries?
    Each library/consortium can choose which lending models they wish to include in the reciprocity. The only lending model required to be shared with others in the alliance is One Copy/One User (OC/OU). Any of the four Metered Access (MA) options can be included or excluded. Simultaneous use and titles purchased under Advantage plans are never shared. Libraries/consortia may prioritize holds for their patrons, ensuring they receive items before other alliance patrons, or they may choose to turn off the availability of holds for visitors.
  4. Will my patrons have priority for my library’s items?
    You can choose to have your patrons prioritized for your OverDrive collection or even to turn off the ability for “visitors” (anyone who is not one of your patrons) to be able to place holds on items in your OverDrive collection.
  5. How can I see stats for items other libraries are using?
    In addition to the OverDrive statistics available through Marketplace, OverDrive will share a monthly stats sheet with each participating public library.
  6. Do we have to share our Advantage titles?
    No. Advantage titles may not be shared with other IDEA libraries.
  7. What criteria do the ICfL use to select the e-books/e-audio titles?
    Take a look at our collection development policy which includes criteria for purchasing at https://libraries.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/Electronic-Resources-Collection-Development-Policy-for-the-ICfL.pdf.
  8. My library already has OverDrive, what advantages are there to participating in the alliance?
    The short answer is access to MANY more titles as no additional cost to you. The IDEA is focused on purchasing juvenile and teen titles, supplementing existing OverDrive collections. Once your library is participating, your patrons will have access to the OverDrive titles shared by other participating libraries as well.
  9. Can my library more easily share our OverDrive collection with students in our service area without participating in the IDEA?
    Yes! By signing a Public Library Connect agreement (PLC), at no additional cost to all parties, public library titles can be used by students without a public library card via the school’s Sora app. Authentication happens through the school’s existing sign-in method, so student privacy is maintained.
  10. Will the ICfL purchase multiple copies of a popular title?
    Yes, multiple copies will be purchased as holds for those titles increase.
  11. I want my library to join the IDEA, but we are part of an OverDrive Consortium. Can we join?
    Since the entire consortium owns the collection, the consortium will need consensus from each library representative to join.
  12. Can a patron search for one title across all the libraries’ collections?
    Currently the Libby app requires a separate search in each collection, but we understand an upgrade is coming within the next year to remedy that.
  13. What is the checkout period?
    Two weeks.
  14. I have a different question!
    Please contact Tammy Hawley-House at Tammy.Hawleyhouse@libraries.idaho.gov or Dylan Baker at Dylan.Baker@libraries.idaho.gov
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