The ebook industry is here to stay, they say, and in the US, you can now see which ebooks are available at your local libraries thanks to Google.
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I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the public library near my apartment offered books in digital formats. Granted, it had been quite some time since I last visited a public library to check out a book, but it was nonetheless refreshing to see that libraries were adapting to the age of technology. After all, ebooks are projected to account for a quarter of global book sales by 2018, generating over 20 billion dollars in revenue.
You can now see whether the book you searched for is available in a digital format at your local libraries.
Accordingly, Google is adding an important feature to book-related searches – only in the US for now – which will let you see whether the book you searched for is available in a digital format at your local libraries. Whether it’s on the Search app or mobile or desktop version of Google, those in the US will see a tab labeled “Get book” for most book searches. Once you tap on that, there is now an option to enter either your city or zip code to check for ebook availability near you.
That’s great news for book-lovers across the country, including myself, because now there’s need to physically go to the library to check out a book and return the hard copy when it’s due. Unfortunately, it’s not clear whether this feature will come to countries other than the US, and if so, when, but we will be sure to keep you updated.
Have you used the ebook availability search feature yet? Do you think access to digital books will have an impact on the survival of public libraries? Let us know by leaving a comment below!