November 18, 2019

Google Search Results Now Include Direct Links to Borrow Ebooks From (Some) Libraries

From Search Engine Land:

Google just made it easier for readers to find an e-book at their local library.

Per the following tweet from Google, mobile search results for a book now include a “Borrow e-book” option under the “Get Book” section.

Read the Complete Article

Notes: 

1. We were able to trigger this feature using a desktop browser.

UPDATED (See Bel0w)

2. In some cases (especially when the book is also a movie), consider adding the word BOOK to the query. For example, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold vs. The Man Who Came in From the Cold book. Note the text “Borrow ebook” in the box Onebox display.

3. Not all libraries appear to be included.  This is both troubling, potentially confusing, and we hope will be explained sooner than later. Perhaps opening day jitters?

For example, when using a New York City Zip Code (10036) the NY Public Library does not appear. This seems to also be the case with 60611 (Chicago) and not finding Chicago Public Library listed. Finally entering “Houston, TX” does not show the Houston Public Library listed. We also tried the Zip Code 60076 (Skokie, IL) and came up empty.

UPDATE (September 19) We have reached out to Google with a number of questions about this feature and will report back if we learn more.

UPDATE 2 (September 19) No response from Google. However, we’ve noticed two things (unofficial):

A local library will only appear if the book is available at the time of the search and available on the OverDrive platform. In other words, no opportunity for a potential user to reserve the book and to learn if available from another provider the library is partnering with. 

It sure would be useful if there was a link near the library box to learn more about how this service works. 

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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