The LibraryLookup Project

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Clicking the bookmarklet when a book page is current...

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...looks up the book in your local library.

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A nest of pirates. I was shocked to discover a nest of pirates yesterday, operating brazenly right here in my hometown. They were gathered in a large nondescript building, reading and talking quietly and in some cases listening to music. Some kind of social club, perhaps? Yes, but with a profoundly subversive theme: "sharing" content. This establishment houses large collections of books, magazines, audiotapes, videotapes, CDs, DVDs. And it "shares" these with its patrons. I watched in amazement as people left the building carrying armloads of these content assets, which they "borrow" without paying a nickel to the copyright holders. It's frightening, really. Who knew?

If your local library uses one of the online catalog systems listed here, you may be able to create a bookmarklet that will help you look up books in your library.

After you've "installed" your bookmarklet by dragging it to your browser's link toolbar, you can use it to look up books at your local library. Let's say you're on a book-related site (Amazon, BN, and your current page's URL includes an ISBN. (Choose a hardcover edition for best results -- see tips below.) You can click your bookmarklet to check if the book is available in your local library. The bookmarklet will invoke your library's lookup service, feed it the ISBN, and pop up a new window with the result.

The LibraryLookup project began, in December 2002, as five lists of bookmarklets for libraries using these catalog systems: Innovative, Voyager, iPac, DRA, and Talis. If you can find your library on one of those lists, it may be easier for you to drag the bookmarklet's link from there, rather than to construct a link using the bookmarklet generator. But the accuracy of those lists has decayed over time, and I'm not able to maintain them. So I recommend that you use the bookmarklet generator in preference to the static lists, as well as for those catalog systems for which there are no lists.

LibraryLookup bookmarklet generator

LibraryLookup project historyLibraryLookup tips

LibraryLookup project historyLibraryLookup tips