If I bought every book that interested me, I would have two problems. First, I would be totally broke. And second, I would have no more room in my apartment and would have to build a new house out of the books.
So, I am a heavy user of my local library. Plus, most books, especially fiction, I am never going to read again so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to purchase them. I do collect fairy tale collections and books about elephants but otherwise I really don’t need to own all the books I want to read.
This is where the xISBN Library Lookup Bookmarklet from WordCat comes in really handy. Any site that you are browsing for books (ahem Amazon) that has the ISBN in the URL will work with the bookmarket.
Here’s what you do:
- Search for your library
- Drag the link to your browser toolbar
- If you are like me and have a ton of stuff on your toolbar, you can shorten the name of the bookmarklet by right clicking on it and selecting properties. This is in Firefox. Maybe one of you can tell me how it’s done in other browsers.
- Search for a book in Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
- Click on the link for the book’s full description page.
- Click on the bookmarklet and the it will search your library’s catalog for that ISBN.
- If your library is like mine, you will then be able to reserve the book online and have it held at the branch of your choice.
If you library isn’t listed, you can email a request to have yours added. The form does ask for the OPAC base url, which is usually the URL of the catalog. If you aren’t sure, just contact the library and the librarian will tell you what it is.
Using this bookmarklet saves me money on books that I am only going to read once. It also makes me feel like I’m a high-tech user of the library ;-)
Plus, I have a Masters in Library Science (did you know that?) and I am big supporter of the public library.
photo credit: gsimmonsonca
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