In an era when basically anything we want is available to purchase with the click of a button, it can be easy to forget that there are places that exist where we can get (or at least borrow) those same items for FREE. It may have been a while since you’ve visited a public library — especially if you don’t have kids — but they continue to be incredible resources for books, musical recordings and even video games!
Now, there’s a browser extension that can show you if a book you might have been considering purchasing is available from your local library system. It will even let you place it on hold or add your name to a wait list if there are no copies immediately available.
Library Extension can save you a ton of money on books
Library Extension is an incredible useful tool that’s a cinch to set up and will automatically alert you if a book you’ve been considering purchasing is available through your local library system. It will even let you know how many copies each branch has and how many are available for immediate checkout. You can place books on hold through Library Extension or add your name to a wait list if all of the copies are currently checked out.
How to get Library Extension
Currently, Library Extension is only available for the Chrome browser, but its creators promise that a version for the Firefox browser will be available soon. It’s a good idea to have multiple browsers at your disposal, anyway, for exactly this reason — you may find that the most useful extensions for you are only available on one browser or another.
Once you have the Chrome browser installed, you’ll need to complete the following steps. Note that you’ll only need to do these things once, as the extension will run in the background going forward.
- Head to the Library Extension download page
- Click the “Install on Chrome” button
- Follow your computer’s instructions to install the extension
- Once the extension is installed, you’ll see an icon that is a stack of books at the top right of your Chrome browser. Click on that to customize your experience with your local library system
(Click the stack of books)
(Choose your country, state, and local library system)
(You’ll note here that you also have the option to include eBooks in your search, if you are a fan of those.)
- Once you have customized the extension, head to a site like Amazon.com or Goodreads and search for the book you are looking for. The extension will automatically let you you if the book is available from a library near you!
In this case, the book we were looking for is very popular and there are no copies currently available, but we were able to place a hold on it. We’ll be notified when it’s our turn to check it out.
Of course, some people choose to own books and eBooks, in which case we’d recommend sites like Half Price Books and Thriftbooks, but if you’re good with borrowing your reads, Library Extension is a must-have.