When you shop for a book online, you may not think to check whether the book is available to borrow for free from your local library. If you take the time to search, you can see on Google whether a book is available to borrow from your library.
But you may not even consider borrowing the book from your library. You may be so excited to start reading the book that you may not remember that the book may be available to read for free from the library. You may be spending money buying books online that you could read for free without even leaving your home.
Library Extension is a free extension for Chrome and Firefox that helps save you money when you shop for books online. When you find a book you want to buy online, Library Extension can automatically show you whether the book is available at your local library.
No need to remember to search for a book on Google or at your library’s website to see whether it’s available to borrow. Instead, Library Extension shows you automatically whether books are available at your library when you shop for them online.
How Library Extension Works
Library Extension is an extension for Chrome and Firefox that automatically checks availability of books at your local library when you shop for a book online.
Library Extension covers over 4000 libraries in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The extension searches for availability of physical books, as well as digital collections such as ebooks and audiobooks. Library Extension connects to library directories from Hoopla, OverDrive, Cloud Library, and Axis360.
Learn more at => OverDrive: Get Free Ebooks and Audiobooks 24/7
Check the Library Extension Find My Library page to see whether your library is covered. Note that you may want to check the name of your library system, if the name of your local library isn’t found in your search results.
If your library isn’t included, you can request that your library be added to Library Extension.
To begin using Library Extension, download it from:
After the extension has been added you’ll be asked to add your library.
You can add multiple libraries to the extension. If you want to change the library. click on the Library Extension stacked book icon in your browser toolbar, click Options and search for the new library you’d like to add to the extension.
You can choose the sites where you want Library extension to work. Library Extension works on websites that sell books, such as Amazon, Google Books, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and Audible. Not all websites that sell books are covered by Library Extension, for example, Walmart and Target do not work with the extension.
You can see a list of sites covered by clicking on the Library Extension stacked books icon, choosing Options and clicking Sites. You can choose which individual sites you want Library Extension to include or click Enable All to have them all covered.
Then, when you search for a book at a website that’s covered by Library Extension, you’ll see a notice showing whether the book is available at your library. For physical books, Library Extension shows you how many copies are available. You may see a notice for physical books, ebooks and audiobooks, if they are available at your library.
The notice also includes a link to your library so you can borrow the book, or put a hold on it, easily. If you’re borrowing an ebook or an audiobook, you may not even have to go to the library to begin reading the book.
Update: An astute Wonder of Tech reader asked about the notification from Library Extension when it’s downloaded to Chrome that it can “Read and change all your data on the websites you visit.”
According the the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Library Extension website:
This is a common question and a very good one. Note that the library extension does not track your browsing history or store any information about the pages you visit or anything you enter on those pages. To understand the permission and how and why it’s used, let’s look at how browser permissions work and each portion of the permission above.
The permissions given to a browser extension come from the configuration that the extension provides to the browser. This configuration indicates the capabilities it requires in order to function.”
I encourage you to read the entire explanation at the website if you’d like further information about how Library Extension works.
Have you ever borrowed a book only to later realize you could have saved money by borrowing it from your local library? Do you like the idea of Library Extension to save money on books? Will you be giving Library Extension a try?
Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!
*Library image (edited) courtesy of Michael D. Beckwith via Flickr and Creative Commons