Get from Library!
March 23, 2016 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Get from Library!
Ever read a web page and think, "I would like to read a book about that – for free!" Well, if you live in the greater Boston area, you can highlight some text on a web page then click this one weird old button to get a relevant book.

This is actually a super basic bookmarklet that just takes text you've highlighted on a web page, then plugs that text into the Minuteman Library Network's search page. I've found it cut the friction between thinking you'd like to read a book and reading it quite a bit. You don't have to pay anything, you don't have to remember anything, and you don't have to open up another web page and type anything.

I've been using it for quite a while and finally got around to making a page that explains how to install it.

Here are the libraries in the Minuteman Library Network. Any branch will deliver books to any other branch for "in-store pickup".
Role: developer
posted by ignignokt (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I've installed it, I do this by clicking around, not just mln, do you know you can get a BPL card? I've found a couple things there that were not in minuteman.
posted by sammyo at 8:09 AM on March 23, 2016

I did not know that! I should see what their catalog search is like.
posted by ignignokt at 10:03 AM on March 23, 2016

Anyone who lives in MA can get a BPL card. And before (or instead of) getting a physical card at the BPL location, you can get an "online account" with the BPL eCard, which lets you sign in and use the electronic resources on their website. Here is how.

The BPL has a "basic search bar" on their main website which users toggle to search either the catalog or; but the main bibliocommons catalog is harder to find. It allows keyword searching though so it ought to work like the Minuteman one does.
posted by Hypatia at 8:57 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

P. S. If you can't find the book you want in the Minuteman Catalog, the semi-secret Commonwealth Catalog may have your book, and you can use it to request books outside the Minuteman network for delivery to your library. Alas, users must log in to use Commonwealth, so a bookmarklet probably won't work as well.
posted by Hypatia at 9:00 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here is a Boston Public Library version based on Hypatia's insider tips on the BPL card and the BiblioCommons search.
posted by ignignokt at 8:20 PM on April 2, 2016

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