Library Services

The mission of the Elm Middle School Library is to engage our students with books of lasting value and to stoke a passion for lifelong reading.

Introducing Sora, the Student Reading App 

The most recent addition to our library resources is Sora, a free reading service that provides access to digital books.

Why have we added Sora? The collection of titles in Sora is an extension of District 401’s physical library, but this collection is in an app with 24/7 access to e-books and audiobooks.

The Sora app makes it convenient for students to check out titles at home, on the weekends or during school breaks. And there's no worry about misplacing a book or running up late fees, because these digital titles automatically return at the end of the lending period.

Sora can help students of all ages read more and improve comprehension. Struggling or reluctant readers, learning-challenged readers, second-language learners and gifted readers alike can all benefit from this service. The benefits include:

  • Enriching vocabulary and improving comprehension and pronunciation
  • Introducing students to books above their reading level
  • Teaching critical listening
  • Helping busy kids find time to read
  • Incentivizing reading with fun avatars and achievements

Accessing Sora

To access Sora, download the free Sora app from the App Store or the Google Play Store, or visit

Then, using your student school email address, you will be all set to borrow e-books and audiobooks on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

To directly access District 401's Sora account, please click here:

Sora login

How Elm Library Helps Students

All Elm students have a library card on file at the circulation desk. Our library has a wide variety of materials to meet the academic and recreational needs of middle school students.

Students also receive help on how to do research, how to share documents with teachers and their peers, how to engage in World Book database research and how to incorporate larger inquiry-based research programs into their studies.

To Find a Title or Resource

If you are looking for a book or other resource in our library, please use this link:

If you want to explore other school libraries in our District, please use this link:

Checkout Policy

Fiction and nonfiction books may be checked out for two weeks.

Reference books, older magazines and other materials may be checked out for overnight use. These materials must be returned before the first period class of the next day.

Fines are imposed for each overdue book.

Lost Material Policy

If library material is lost, parents will be charged according to the following fee schedule:

  • Young Adult Fiction Paperback
  • Young Adult Fiction Hardcover
  • Young Adult Nonfiction Paperback
  • Young Adult Nonfiction Hardcover
  • Magazine
  • Reference

Actual replacement cost

Partnership with EP Public Library

District 401 also works with the Elmwood Park Public Library to ensure that our students have access to a full range of resources.

For more information, please visit our Digital Resources at EP Public Library page.

District 401’s Policy on Library Services

Elm's library operations are governed by District 401's policy on library media programs, which can be found in Section 6:230 of the Board of Education's District Policy Manual:

The Superintendent or designee shall manage the District's library media program to comply with (1) State law and Illinois State Board of Education rule and (2) the following standards:

  1. The program includes an organized collection of resources available to students and staff to supplement classroom instruction, foster reading for pleasure, enhance information literacy, and support research, as appropriate to students of all abilities in the grade levels served.
  2. Financial resources for the program's resources and supplies are allocated to meet students' needs.
  3. Students in all grades served have equitable access to library media resources.
  4. The advice of an individual who is qualified according to ISBE rule is sought regarding the overall direction of the program, including the selection and organization of materials, provision of instruction in information and technology literacy, and structuring the work of library paraprofessionals.
  5. Staff members are invited to recommend additions to the collection.
  6. Students may freely select resource center materials as well as receive guided selection of materials appropriate to specific, planned learning experiences.

A searchable version of the complete District Policy Manual can be found here.