If you’re a library user, listen up: I’ve found the Chrome extension for you! While scrolling through Facebook the other day, I came across a post about Library Extension, a Chrome add-on which shows you what books are available at your local library on any book-related website (think Goodreads, Indigo, Bookoutlet, Amazon, etc.) I had my doubts about this extension as I assumed it was only compatible for Americans, since that is what was shown in the Facebook post example. Lucky for me, upon downloading the extension I learned that it has access to libraries nearly worldwide!
Here is a step-by-step guide to download and use Library Extension:
1. Go to the extension’s page on the Chrome store and add it to your Chrome browser.
2. Once downloaded, click the little grey puzzle piece in the top right-hand corner of your screen. This will show all your extensions, including the Library Extension. When you see that, click on it.
3. The Library Extension will open up a pop-up screen with three separate empty boxes at the top. These are for your country, state/province and your library system. So, for example, I put “Canada, Ontario” and found my library system from a drop down menu, which was Mississauga Library.
4. Once you’re done filling out the information above, click the “Add” button, and just like that, this library has been added to your extension! Easy, right? Repeat these steps for any other libraries you have access to.
Once installed, this extension will show up on any website where you look at books, like Indigo, Bookoutlet, Amazon, Goodreads and more. The extension shows up as a box on the new page (it takes a minute to load) and tells you how many copies of the book your library has, in physical book, ebook and audiobook! It tells you how many copies are available and if no copies are available, it gives you an approximate wait time if you were to put a hold on the book.
I find this extension really useful — I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise! Since the pandemic started my library has teamed up with a few others in Ontario to give its users access to multiple libraries. Now, if I’m looking for one particular book instead of searching through the five or six library catalogues I have access to, I simply search the book on Goodreads and can see all the availabilities laid out for me.
This extension has also encouraged me to read books that I weren’t initially on my reading list – books that I stumbled upon just by chance. If I searched something on Goodreads and saw it was available, it encouraged me to actually read it (rather than just telling myself I’ll read it one day) because I could instantly get my hands on it as an ebook. This is always a great thing, because nothing is worse than sitting around, waiting and waiting for your next read to become available.
So, if you’re a library user, make sure to check out this Library Extension and see if it has your library on it! I promise you won’t be disappointed with the results. Free books for everyone!