Library Extension Turns Into a Branch of Your Local Library

library extension amazon overdriveHere's a fun follow-up to yesterday's post about the BookIndy Chrome extension.

A reader has tipped me to a similar Chrome extension which lets users browse 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, 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. It can check a library's ebook catalog with OverDrive or BiblioCommons, and in many cases it can also check a library's print catalog (which is a lot harder than it sounds).

If it finds a match it will offer the option of checking out the ebook or placing a hold As you can see in the screenshot below, my library doesn't have Lash-Up as an ebook and all the print copies are checked out.

library extension amazon overdrive

Library Extension has been around since at least January 2013, but it has only just crossed my desk. I think it's a great way to reuse one of the better designed bookstore sites, but I do wish it weren't so limited.

It doesn't work with MyiLibrary, 3M Cloud Library, or any of the smaller library ebook vendors. While services like Hoopla and Freading are not as widely used as OverDrive, they still offer a chance for a reader to save money by not shopping at Amazon.

Thanks, Tom!

About Nate Hoffelder (11466 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

11 Comments on Library Extension Turns Into a Branch of Your Local Library

  1. That is an awesome discovery! Saves me a step when looking up a book. My usual progression is 1. Check Scribd. 2. Check library. Cuts out a step, and if it’s in my library, and I’m not in a rush, I can skip Scribd.

    • It does cut out a step, doesn’t it? Now I just have to have a single tab open, and not two.

      • Hi,

        Author of the extension here! So glad to hear that you find it useful! I’m working on some improvement that will allow it to work on additional sites (like Goodreads, etc) and provide some richer details on the match details! I’m always happy to hear feedback and new library additions and feature suggestions (I’ve been getting a few thanks to this post, and will try to get to as many of them as quickly as I can!)

  2. Thanks! This will be especially helpful when publishers decide to price ebooks for insane amounts of money.

  3. Hmm, just imagine if you could achieve the exact same results for indie authors. Like maybe via the API (shameless self plug).

    Seriously, Andrew, this is really awesome.

    Any plans to add a similar FF extension?

  4. Any chance that Library extension will come to the UK?

    • Hi Fliss,

      The biggest challenge is often the catalog software in use at a particular library – if it is not already one that I have added support for, then it may take a while (at the moment) to get that library added with my current roadmap. But feel free to submit a request on the website and I’ll be happy to take a look!

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