Those who are saying that libraries are dying or already dead have probably not stepped into a library for quite some time now. Most of the major libraries have actually adapted to the changing tides of how people consume their books and other media. Some are surprised that their local libraries actually let you borrow ebooks (and even digital music and movies) for free. Now Google Search has included information about whether the libraries near you will let you borrow an ebook of the book you’re looking for.
When you do a Google Search for a book, you will also now get various tabs, just like with movies, TV shows, etc, with Overview, Reviews, More By Author, and of course the all-important Get the Book card. Under that, you get links to where you can buy the book and how much it is. Now you’ll also get a “Borrow ebook” tab to see which of the local libraries around your area will let you borrow the ebook for free. You just have to turn on your location so Google knows which libraries are nearest you.
When you tap on the specific library that you use or want to borrow from, it will lead you to Overdrive or whatever it is that the library uses to manage their ebooks collection. You will have to sign in with your library credentials, then choose whether you want to read a sample first or just borrow it straightforward and it will then be available in your device or app, depending on how long your library will let you borrow it.
This new feature is rolling out now both for Google Search on mobile as well as on a desktop. However, it looks like it’s only available in the US for now, but hopefully, it will also roll out to other places where libraries offer free ebook rentals.