The Library Extension Plug-In Tells You if That Book You’re Shopping for Is Available at Your Local Library

Before you buy books online, check out this extension to see what's at your local library.
Before you buy books online, check out this extension to see what's at your local library. / Mitshu/iStock via Getty Images

Though the library is definitely the cheapest resource for readers, it's not always the most convenient. Your local branch has a limited number of titles available to check out at any given time, while online retailers make millions of books easy to purchase with just a click. If you want to support your library without giving up your online shopping habits for good, try installing Library Extension.

According to CNET, the desktop plug-in for Firefox, Edge, and Google Chrome will tell you if the book you're browsing on Amazon (or Barnes & Noble, Audible, or Goodreads) is available through your local library. Once you install it, the extension will ask you to select the most convenient place for you to check out books. If you're a cardholder at multiple libraries, or if your local branch is part of a larger system, you can select more than one location.

Next time you browse a title online, Library Extension will tell you if it's stocked at your library. The pop-up shows you how many copies are available to borrow and whether they're ebooks, audiobooks, or physical copies. In addition to analyzing real-time data in their catalogue, the tool connects to any digital book services offered through the library, like Hoopla and OverDrive.

If you decide a free book sounds more appealing than a brand-new copy, clicking the Library Extension box will take you to the library page, where you can then start the checkout process. Of course, staying on the retail site and purchasing the book is still an option, but now you can't use the lack of library access as an excuse to spend money.

[h/t CNET]