Today’s Topic: Wait! Don't buy that--get it from your library, Pt. II; or Return of the Library Extension!
Last week we looked at the Google Knowledge Graph and the Get Book option. What if Google doesn't work for the desired title and the patron thinks they want to buy it? Maybe they skip Google and go directly to Amazon? Or maybe they are looking in GoodReads for what to read next.... Read More...
Here is a tool you can promote with patrons to help them "try before they buy."
- Library Extension --A browser extenstion that works on Chrome, Firefox, & Edge. It works on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Abebooks, etc and shows whether the book or e-book in question is owned by a WInnefox library or available from Overdrive (or other library-ish sources). LE has been around for almost a decade but many of us lost track of it. Recently, it got a shoutout on Mentalfloss' site.
Let's look at this handy tool in more detail.....
Like any browser extension, Library Extension needs to be installed on your browser. Here are general instructions on how to install an Extension to: Firefox, Chrome, Edge. The extensions page for each of these browsers has a search box, into which you'll type "Library Extension" and select it from the resulting extensions.
Once you have Library Extension (LE) installed, you need do a little setup. By default, the LE setup instructions will appear immediately after installing. If it doesn't, or if you need to get back there later (like to add an extra library) here's how:
1) Click on the LE icon right next to your address bar:
If it the LE icon doesn't appear here, you need to find your way to your browser's Extensions page, click on Library Extension and look for "Extension Options" or maybe just "Options." Most browsers' Extensions page can be found by clicking on the 3-dot or 3-line icons at the far right. In Firefox, ater getting to the main Extensions page, you'll need to click the "..." icon next to Library Extension to get to the LE "Options"
2) When you get to the Library Extensions Options screen, you will first need to Choose your state.
3) Select the library(ies) you want Library Extension to check.
ONLY CHOOSE 1 WALS LIBRARY. If you choose a WALS library it behaves exactly the same as picking that library from the default "Pick a Library" page in our catalog. As long as any WALS library owns the title, Library Extension will link to it. The cool thing is you can add non-WALS libraries also--like Appleton or Fond du Lac.
4) Click "Add." You'll see the chosen library(ies) appear. Notice that Overdrive is automatically included as well as the main catalog. There are also options to Remove a library and Close the setup page.
Also notice near the bottom are options for adding Hoopla, OpenLibrary, and (you'll need to scroll) other online library databases.
OK--you're all setup and ready to go! What next?
So I searched Google for Wil Wheaton's Still Just a Geek. Here are my results:
Of the first 4, the only one LE doesn't work with is HarperCollins.
Barnes & Noble:
I searched a different title this time so you could see how Hoopla shows up if added:
Clicking on the Borrow or Place Hold buttons takes you directly to this title in Overdrive or our main catalog. Hoopla's copy is always available, so it will take you directly to this title in Hoopla--at which point you can pick your library, sign in, etc. Normal Hoopla protections are still in place--ie if the patron doesn't have a Hoopla account or doesn't belong to a Hoopla library, they won't have access.
You might want to share these instructions with your patrons so they can try this on their computers at home.
That's it for this week...
Share & Enjoy!