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Library Extension Turns Amazon.Com into a Branch of Your Local Library

11 April 2019

From The Digital Reader:

A reader has tipped me to a Chrome extension which lets users browse Amazon.com and see if a book or ebook is available at their local library. It’s called Library Extension, and you can find it in the Chrome Web Store.

. . . .

Once installed (and configured), simply browse book or ebook listings on Amazon.com, and Library Extension will insert an extra window above the buy button with info on whether your library has the title in its catalog. For some libraries, you can also browse the audiobook, movie, and music catalogs.

LibEx works with a lot of libraries in the US, Canada, and Australia, but not all.

. . . .

Library Extension has been around since at least January 2013, but it started getting press again in 2019.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader

When PG started the installation of Library Extension, his Chrome browser informed him that it was already installed.

Evidently, PG installed Library Extension before his local library was part of the extension’s network and flitted off to some other corner of the internet when it didn’t work.

He was pleased to see times had changed and the availability of both ebooks and audiobooks pops up when he searches Amazon for overpriced books from traditional publishers.

Ebook Borrowing/Lending

9 Comments to “Library Extension Turns Amazon.Com into a Branch of Your Local Library”

  1. I had this installed for quite a while. Then I discovered somewhere along the way it wasn’t showing library books unless they were available for checkout. Since almost all popular books have holds on them, they didn’t show on the Amazon screen. I’d probably install it again if that bug was fixed.

    • Elise – When I reactivated my copy, I can see library books that are not available for checkout.

      For example: 0 of 17 copies available

      If I then click the View button in the extension, I’m taken to the library’s website and the page for that book on Overdrive.

      If no copies are available, I can put a hold on the book (put my name on a waiting list for when a copy becomes available) on that page.

  2. The Chrome installation shows the below message. Prudence trumped curiosity.

    “It can read and change all the data on the web sites you visit.”

  3. does it work when you have cards from multiple library systems?

    • Yep, you can put in multiple libraries to be checked. Don’t forget to add Hoopla as well and check if your library partners with them. It shows paperback, hardback, ebooks and audiobooks all in one place.

    • More importantly, how do you qualify for multiple libraries? 🙂

      Most of my area ones have a residency requirement or a really strong rationale (like caregiving in the area — I oculd have had one in my old home town as my mother was there in her declining years).

      There are a few supposedly online ones available, for a fee, but even some of the ones with a fee and a large ebook collection had a low-residency requirement that you had to register in person.

      Just curious…

      P.

      • One way (the only one I know, but there are probably more) is to prove you work in one county in my state and live in another (or attend college in one county, either on or off campus, and live in another). Some counties will give you a card in that case. That was how I had a card for two counties at once. I don’t anymore, and that was a long time ago, so maybe that’s not a legitimate path any longer. I’d say you could get one in multiple libraries if you have multiple residences too. All my county required for the card was a bill with your name on it and a local address.

  4. I just tried this and it seems to work nicely! I was surprised to find that my small rural library is supported.

  5. Thanks PG! I added it to my browser, it works for Firefox too!

    Speaking of over-priced, I was reviewing some old books I was getting ready to purge, and was on Amazon to get some of the basic biblio info and noticed that my paper copies have now been supplanted by ebook availability (it wasn’t when I originally read them). But the price? They were selling the ebook versions of the novels that were published 15 years ago for…wait for it…$25ish each. I’m sure I know why his royalties might be dwindling but Scribner’s no doubt sets the price.

    It was ridiculous, couldn’t believe it…

    P.

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