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Searching Multiple Libraries with the Chrome Library Extension

The Chrome Library Extension in action

Several weeks ago, I was reading through my news feeds, and came across an interesting post at LifeHacker. That post described Library Extension, a very useful Chrome extension1 that works with Amazon’s site (reports in the comments section of the LifeHacker post indicate that it works with the Goodreads site, too, though I’ve not tested it).

You can see the extension in action in the screenshot at the top of this post. The extension allows you to add whatever libraries you’d like (they currently support some 3200 libraries, and have a link for users to let them know if their local library is missing), so it’s possible to search multiple libraries simultaneously.

Click on the “Borrow” button, and you’ll be taken to the appropriate page — either the library’s page with information about where available physical copies are located, or the library’s digital lending page for the item, where you can sign in and check it out. There’s also an option to place a hold on an item if it’s not available.

Ebook lovers who use Amazon’s Family Library may especially appreciate the extension’s ability to search multiple libraries. Sharing ebooks via Family Library works for library books as well as for purchased content, so if the other adult in your Amazon Household has borrowing privileges at a different library than you do, each of you can get access to digital materials at the other’s library.

Have you tried Library Extension? If so, how well has it worked for you? Let us know in the comments — and if you’re aware of any similar tools, we’d love to know about those, too.

  1. Library Extension’s site indicates a version for Firefox is coming soon. ↩︎
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