We've all done it. You're looking for a book and you go to Amazon.com. You see the price. But before clicking the button to buy, a thought crosses your mind.
I wonder if ...
You think to yourself, "I wonder if my local library has the book." That's the thought. So, you open another browser tab and navigate to the site for that library. Maybe there’s also a site, such as Hoopla (hoopladigital.com), to download the book digitally. You log in there as well to check.
Over the next few minutes, you log out of one site and into another to conduct the search for this particular book. What if you could look in one place and see it all? That’s what “Library Extension” does.
How to Use “Library Extension”
“Library Extension” is a free Chrome extension. Go to the Chrome Web Store. Search for “Library Extension,” and click to install.
The icon for Library Extension now appears in the Chrome toolbar at the upper right part of the screen. It looks like a little stack of books.
Next, identify the different libraries with whom you have an account. Look for an “Add” button. Search for the library of your choice. Add other libraries one at a time.
The next time you visit Amazon and search for a book, you’ll see a bit of magic. Library Extension opens in a little window on the right-hand side of your screen. For each library, you’ll see whether that library has the book in question, and if so, how many copies.
You'll also see the availability. Without leaving the site, you’ll know which of your sources has the book available for checkout. Click on the link in that extension, and you're taken to the library catalog of choice. The search result for the item is already displayed. Click to request the item. That's all there is to it.
You save time with Library Extension because it cuts down on the number of steps required to determine a book’s availability. If the public library can offer up your selection for free, you also save money.
See Library Extension in Action
I created a short video that shows how to install and use Library Extension. Come over and watch here: FrankBuck.org/library-extension. Then install it and give it a try on your next read.
Technology does a beautiful job of handling repetitive tasks. This article highlights one example of how you can use technology as a time-saver.
Frank Buck is the author of Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders. "Global Gurus Top 30" named him No. 1 in the Time Management category for 2019, 2020, and 2021. Dr. Buck speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach him through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.