find in a library?

How come only some books in the Google Book Search have “find in a library” links next to them? Diglet asks, and gets an answer, sort of a lame one if you ask me. update: Kevin mentioned in the comments that it would be great to see this for all books in Google Books. I went to bed thinking “Oh yeah, I should look into that….” and while I was sleeping, Superpatron, aka Ed Vielmetti solved the crime, er problem, and created a Greasemonkey script (a plug-in that you can run with Firefox) that does this for Ann Arbor and can be modified for any library.

8 Responses to “find in a library?”

  1. yezbick Says:

    It’s better than the response I got back in November —


    We appreciate your taking the time to offer us this feedback and encourage you to continue to let us know how we can improve Google Print. At the moment, we don’t have links to local libraries, and your suggestion has been added to our list of feature requests. As Google Print is still a young program, new features are under consideration and your feedback is very helpful.


    The Google Print Team

    I’ve noticed that searching by ISBN works in Google Books — so I’m hoping someone strings together a Greasemonkey script like Udell’s Library Lookup, or Edward’s MovieDude

    I don’t have the hacks in me to pull it off…I think I’ve already shouted out to the lazy web — but just in case, here’s another public pleading…

  2. Edward Vielmetti Says:

    Jessamyn, you should be able to adapt the Amazon LibraryLookup script from Jon Udell and insert something into the Google Books page about the library. It will take a little mangling of the links with Greasemonkey, but I don’t see any reason it couldn’t be done (the data is all there that you would need).

    Let me write up a note to self on it for superpatron and see if I can’t get it worked out.

  3. jessamyn Says:

    thanks superpatron, you’ve saved the day again!

  4. K.G. Schneider Says:

    The larger question, which I posed on FRL a couple of months ago, is why participating libraries didn’t insist on library links (for ALL items, whether or not they are contributed by libraries), given that they surely had some bargaining power going into this agreement.

  5. Edward Vielmetti Says:

    Karen, my script is a lot more useful than the generic “find in a library” link, because it tells you right up front whether my library has that book in stock.

  6. yezbick Says:

    I think useful depends on the user. For someone unwilling to travel to another library — it’s extremely useful. For someone foaming at the mouth to find an item — perhaps not so much.

    If beggars could be choosers, and those choosers were the users — I wouldn’t mind having that same option for libraries within a 15 mile radius of me – or the 5 closest. But that’s reaching for the stars, isn’t it? I would imagine with a bit of hackery you could plop in all of your favorite libraries though?

    One of the main reasons I enjoy FirstSearch/Worldcat is because it arranges my libraries for me by distance…If my library doesn’t have it – I’m willing to hoof it up the road to another one that does. Knowing that my library DOESN’T have it is a huge letdown. Knowing that a nearby library can provide it is a huge relief.

  7. Edward Vielmetti Says:

    For what it’s worth – Google blogged about this today:

    noting the Greasemonkey script and saying in essence “we’re working on it”.

  8. Inserting St. Louis library holdings information into Google Book Search at Says:

    [...] You’ll need Firefox and Greasemonkey to make it work. For credits, I’ll just quote the Superpatron: Thanks Jessamyn West and Kevin Yezbick for the ideas, and to Gordon Mohr for Javascript help. Jon Udell gets credit for the original script. I used the Joe Hewitt’s Firebug debugger to figure out what was going wrong with my first couple of tries, and Gordon’s Regex Powertoy got me started. Google, Google Book Search, Greasemonkey, library, librarylookup, MLC, St. Louis [...]