Find Library Books While You Browse Amazon With This Helpful Web Extension

Save time and money while supporting your community.

E-books and online retailers have a reputation for keeping people away from bookstores and local libraries. Why leave the house when, with just a few clicks, a book can be on its way to you or ready to download? 

But what if shopping for books online actually inspired you to get out and support your local library?

A free browser extension for Google Chrome called Library Extension is doing just that. Look up a book on Amazon, and you'll be able to see the title's availability at libraries in your area, all on the same page. There's even a handy link to reserve a copy. 

And it's not just Amazon. The extension also works while browsing Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and Google Books. You can even use it to find audiobooks, music, and movies. It's easy to forget that libraries offer more than just musty hardbacks, but this way you'll always be reminded.

The extension currently supports more than 2,000 libraries in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. You can search the website to see if yours is included, and if it's not, just contact the developers and ask for it to be added. According to reviews, the turnaround is fast — sometimes within just a few hours.



Library Extension
Library Extension

While online shopping certainly has its advantages, there are also some pretty good reasons to find your next page-turner at the library instead. They're free, for one. It's also a great way to support your community, and foster an appreciation for the arts and education. Not to mention that book-sharing is environmentally friendly. 

Of course, the advantage also works the opposite way. Should your chosen title be unavailable to check out, you don't have to search an entirely new site to buy it. Even if it doesn't save you money, it can at least save you time.

The extension has an average rating of 4.5 stars and rave reviews. One user called it "an outstanding extension in terms of both quality and social impact," adding that it "has single handedly driven me to the library over 10 times in the last 2 months." 

It even has the seal of approval from a librarian, who wrote, "There is such value in sharing materials, and this app will help the members of my community save their hard-earned money. In a poverty-stricken area like mine, this is essential to leading a happy, healthy, productive life."

It just goes to show that, when used thoughtfully, technology doesn't have to pose a threat to culture. 

(H/T: Huffington Post)

Cover image: Glen Noble / Unsplash

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