This Handy Browser Extension Will Tell You If a Book Is Available at Your Local Library

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We love libraries. In addition to providing free access to books, they also offer important community programs, job training programs, ESL classes, and more. Even though Amazon makes it easy to buy books online and have them delivered directly to your door, there are still plenty of library devotees out there, ourselves included. And our library lending game just got even more awesome thanks to this handy browser extension.

Spotted in the July 26 edition of the “Girls’ Night In” newsletter, Library Extension is a browser extension that makes it easier and more affordable to read all the books on your TBR (to-be-read) list. Here’s how it works: If you find a book that you want to read on Amazon, Library Extension will tell you if it’s available at your local library. It quickly searches the database, and if it is available, it’ll give you the option to reserve it right there on the spot.

The cost of new, and even used, books adds up, and reading can be an expensive hobby. This is a great way to save money and support your local library at the same time. You can add as many libraries to your search list as you want. And if your local library isn’t on the list (but nearly 5,000 are), it’ll work with you to add it. Best of all, you won’t have to wait for two-day shipping to dive in; thanks to Library Extension, you can go pick up your book within the hour. (As long as it’s during business hours, of course.)

Let’s say you wanted to read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” You could buy it on Amazon, or you could save a few bucks and borrow it from the library. When Library Extension is enabled, it’ll pop up on the right side of the page and tell you which of your saved libraries has it available to borrow and how many copies are available. From there, you can reserve it with just one click. It really is that easy.

Credit: Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Library Extension is available for Chrome and Firefox and also works on Barnes and Noble, Audible, Goodreads, and tons of other sites. The next time you’re browsing for a new book to read, try enabling Library Extension and see what you can find. You never know what titles, both old and new, your local library will have.