Looking for a book? Google now tells you if it's at your library as an ebook

The new feature works with public library ebook systems.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

If you search for a book on Google, the results will now tell you if there's a free ebook version available at your local library.

Google rolled out the new feature this week. How does it work?

Search for a book on Google – like, say, What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky, the debut novel of Minnesota author Lesley Nneka Arimah that just got nominated for a big award.

On desktop, scroll down and you'll see a "Borrow ebook" section right underneath buying options. (You'll need to punch in a ZIP code.)

If you're on mobile, you need to click the "Get book" tab – and again, you'll get nearby library ebooks along with purchase options.

Click the link and it'll take you to that library's digital page where you can sign in and get your book immediately (or place it on hold if it's popular).

You can read the book right on your phone, tablet, computer or sometimes ebook reader, so it can be pretty convenient if you don't want to wait.

A few drawbacks

New books are expensive – so being able to access them for free is obviously a plus (especially if you're a young adult, since you're more likely to read than others).

But the new feature isn't all-encompassing.

Google's library results tool is only for ebooks. It won't show you options to borrow a physical book at a local library, so if you prefer a hardback, you'll have to go to your library's specific site.

The tool also appears tied specifically to Overdrive (aka the Libby app) – an ebook system that's used by a lot, but not all, public libraries. It also means books you can get through other ebook collections (like the 3M Cloud Library) won't show up.

GoodEReader notes it's not clear if this is because there's some exclusive Overdrive-Google partnership, or if other digital library systems will ultimately be added.

Next Up

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.

Klobuchar

Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Osterholm affidavit ahead of George Floyd trial warns of COVID worsening in March

Prosecutors want to delay the Chauvin trial due to a public health threat.

WCCO-AM's Sheletta Brundidge talks with Lil Nas X

830-WCCO host calls for Dave Lee's replacement to be person of color

WCCO-AM has not had a person of color as a weekday daytime host in its history.

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 8.57.50 AM

Harmful grass fly larvae found in shipment to International Falls

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials safeguarded the shipment until the threat could be mitigated.

Keith Ellison

Minnesota high schoolers will be reimbursed for canceled European trips

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a settlement with the travel company Friday.

Donald Trump

Trump pardons Minnesota man convicted on drug charge in 1992

John Harold Wall was among the 143 people granted clemency in one of Trump's final acts as president.

Lyn 65

9 businesses in Richfield affected by strip-mall redevelopment plans

Affected businesses may be eligible for grants that would help keep them in Richfield.

CBP heater

More than $260K in fake heaters seized at Minnesota border

The 780 infrared zone heaters were found in a rail car bound for Ranier, Minnesota.

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.

Related

GoMN podcast: Talking book trends and good teen reads for adults with Chelsea Couillard-Smith

From the death of vampire fiction, to The Hate U Give and Harry Potter – Chelsea Couillard-Smith with Hennepin County Library fills us in.

Update Snapchat – iOS 11 let people secretly record your snaps

The iPhone got a new, built-in screen recording feature.

See if that couch from Target looks good in your living room before you actually buy it

A new features on Target's mobile website lets you test it out beforehand. Here's how it works.

Google will give you estimated wait times at restaurants now

This could help you avoid some hangry situations.

Prince's ex-wife has 2 book signings in the Twin Cities this week

Mayte Garcia married Prince in 1996. She has a new book called The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince.

Prince's ex-wife has 2 book signings in the Twin Cities this week

Mayte Garcia married Prince in 1996. She has a new book called The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince.