A reader has tipped me to a Chrome extension which lets users browse Amazon.com 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 and in the Firefox Add-Ons.
Library Extension has been around since at least January 2013, but it just got discovered again in 2020. I think it’s a great way to reuse one of the better designed bookstore sites, but I do wish it weren’t still so limited.
It works with OverDrive, CloudLibrary, Axis360, and Hoopla. The developer also told me that support for RBDigital and BorrowBox should be added by the end of January 2020.
Once installed (and configured), simply browse book or ebook listings on Amazon.com, and Library Extension will insert an extra widget above the buy button with info on whether your library has the title in its catalog. For some libraries, you will also see results from the library’s audiobook, movie, music, and print book 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 and Hoopla, 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
I just tested it with a Harry Potter book, and LibEx found the audiobooks, ebook, and print books offered by my local library. (Only the print books were available, of course).
Do you use this plugin?