Google has made on Twitter a little announcement book lovers in the US should be excited about.
From now on, you can quickly check out on Google whether the public library near you has an ebook version of the book you are interested to read.
If you are using Chrome browser, you are most probably sharing your location with Google. Therefore, the list of libraries near you should appear automatically.
You can also test it in incognito mode, and input the location manually.
It’s what I’m going to do. Let’s see how it works on the example of A Column of Fire, Ken Follet’s long-expected third book from Kingsbridge series.
I typed in the book’s title and author. A Google web search page like this will show up.
As in case of well-known people, companies, movies, or books, besides the list of top results, Google displays on the right side an extended panel with relevant information.
If you are looking for a book, you will see a library widget entitled “Borrow.” It’s placed under prices and links to major ebookstores.
To check the availability of the book at libraries in your area, type in the search box either your city or zip code. I’ve typed “Seattle,” and there you go!
A list of a few libraries that are closest to your location will be displayed.
When you click the link, you will be directed to the library’s website with details of the ebook version of the book you are looking for. You will see a total number of copies the library offers, and whether the book is available to borrow right now.
You can also find the library ebook using your mobile device. Slash Gear shows how to do it.
The library book search displays ebooks from libraries powered by OverDrive. The feature is currently limited to the United States, but Google promises to launch it in other countries as well.
If you are interested in finding out how Google helps people who love reading, make sure to check out this list: Google search tips for book lovers.
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Keep exploring. Here are other lists to check out: