Available Technology

Public Computers
Laptops
Wifi Access
Printers/Copiers
Scanners
Earbuds and USB Drives
Microfilm
Fax
iPads for Kids
Skype
Access Center for People with Disabilities
Frequently Asked for Items Which Are Not Available

Public Computers

Public computers with Internet access are available at all Neighborhood Library locations, Central Library, and Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. A library card or computer use card is required to use these computers.

The African American Library at the Gregory School and the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HRMC) have catalog/database-only computers for accessing library resources. A library card is not required to use these computers.

Public computers have the following software installed:

  • Windows 7
  • Microsoft Office suite
  • Adobe Reader
  • Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome

Each public computer session is one hour long. There is no limit to total number of sessions. 

Laptops

Laptops are available for in-house use only.

Checking out a laptop:

  • Customer must present a valid library card with no fines, no blocks, that is at least 30 days old
  • Staff will hold photo ID until laptop is returned.
  • Laptop will only be checked out to the cardholder.
  • Only one laptop per person per card may be checked out.
  • Customers under 18 who have parental permission may use parent's ID.

Checkout Period: 2 hours

Overdue Fine: $25/hour (or any part thereof)

Replacement Fee: item cost ($1500) + $150 processing fee

Laptop Circulating Guidelines

Wifi Access

Wifi is available at all locations. No library card is necessary to connect to the wifi network.

Printers/Copiers

Each library has black and white printers and copiers available. Color copiers are available at the Central Library on the 1st floor and in KIDS.

Costs for printing/copying are:

  • $0.15/page for 8.5x11and Legal (8.5x14)
  • $0.30/page for Ledger (11x17)
  • $1/page for color

Payment options:

  • Coins or bills in the printer/copiers directly
  • Print card can be purchased for $1. When purchased, the card is automatically loaded with 50 cents. Card can be loaded with more funds, as needed. The card machine only accepts bills.

Scanners

The copiers at Central Library (2nd floor) and Shepard-Acres Homes Neighborhood Library are able to scan documents. Scanning is free, but a USB drive is required to store the document. Please see staff for instructions on scanning.

Earbuds and USB Drives

Earbuds ($3) and 4-GB flash drives ($8) can be purchased at Central Library and all Neighborhood Library locations (with the exception of Fifth Ward Neighborhood Library and HPL Express Discovery Green).

Microfilm

Microfilm readers are available at Central Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC), Clayton Library Research Center for Genealogical Research, and The African American Library at the Gregory School. Files can be saved to a USB drive for free or printed (see printing fees above).

Fax

Fax service is available at Central Library (3rd floor), Shepard-Acres Homes Neighborhood LibraryScenic Woods Regional Library and Smith Neighborhood Library. Faxes can be sent but not received, and they can be sent to local and toll free numbers only.

Cost for fax is:

  • $1/page

iPads for KIDS

iPads are available at some locations for children ages 2 and up. iPads are loaded with apps for math, letters, shapes, games and more.

Requirements:

  • iPads must be checked out by a parent or guardian with a valid, fine-free library card that is at least 30 days old.
  • We do hold a valid government-issued ID while the iPad is checked out.
  • The iPads may not leave the building or, if at Central, the Kids area.

Checkout Period: 2 hours

Overdue Fine: $25/hour (or any part thereof)

Replacement Fee: item cost ($699) + $150 processing fee

Locations offering iPads for KIDS:

Access Center for People with Disabilities

The Houston Public Library offers many services for people with disabilities and/or special needs.

The Access Center for people with visual and hearing disabilities located on the first floor of the Central Library provides special adaptive equipment, materials in accessible formats, and library services for patrons with special needs who are:

  • Blind and/or visually impaired
  • Deaf and/or hearing impaired

The Access Center is open during Central’s regular hours of operation. Appointments for tours and orientations are requested.

The Access on Demand program also allows customers to request a laptop with JAWS (screen reading software) and ZoomText (screen magnification software) for use at any library location.

More information

Skype

Skype Services are available for reservation at the Central Library only for up to 3 hours for:

  • Family and friends contacting active/deployed members of the armed forces;
  • Online tests or examinations lasting more than one hour;
  • Job interviews and interview preparation.

For more information on how to reserve a room and what you need to bring with you, please call 832-393-1313.

Frequently Requested Items Not Available

We are often asked if we offer the following items. Unfortunately, these items are not available at any Houston Public Library.

  • Projectors (computer, film, or slide)
  • Typewriters