Updated:
Original:

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.

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

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Driver killed after crashing into parked semi-trailer

The crash occurred on the 5800 block of University Avenue Northeast.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Panthers: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings will look to open things up in Carolina.

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

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.

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.

Update Snapchat – iOS 11 let people secretly record your snaps

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

Google will give you estimated wait times at restaurants now

This could help you avoid some hangry situations.

Pixabay - library child

Libraries across MN expand in-person services as COVID pandemic wanes

Library locations in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota are inching closer to normal.

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.