Leisure and Do-It-Yourself Resources

Premium Resources

Classical Music in Video

Classical Music in Video will grow to contain 1,000 hours of classical music performances, master classes and interviews with master teachers from around the world captured on video. *

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center is a collection of periodicals, books and videos covering common and unusual hobbies arranged in over 140 topics.*

Home Improvement Reference Center

Home Improvement Reference Center is designed to assist homeowners in do-it-yourself home repair, maintenance, and remodeling projects. Step-by-step instructions for thousands of projects in the areas of plumbing, outdoor, woodworking, electrical, and decorating are provided.*

hoopla

Hoopla provides streaming and downloadable movies, TV shows, music, e-books, e-audiobooks, and graphic novels. Use your library card to sign up and create an account, then edit account settings to add library name (Houston Public Library, library card number, and PIN before browsing or checking out. In response to COVID-19, the number of hoopla checkouts that Library customers are allowed per calendar month has temporarily been increased to 10. You can check out videos for 72 hours, music for 7 days, and e-books, e-audiobooks, graphic novels check out for 21 days.*

IndieFlix

Movies, Documentaries, Shorts, and TV: Award-winning comedies, documentaries, drama, animation, shorts, and classic TV.  Access this RBdigital Streaming Video on Demand service through a browser or download the RBdigital app to your favorite device, sign in with your library card and PIN, then create an account.  A checkout provides 7 days unlimited watching, no monthly checkout limits. *

Kanopy

Streaming videos including critically-acclaimed movies, award-winning foreign films, inspiring documentaries, a host of educational resources and how-to videos ranging from language learning to haircutting basics. Kanopy Kids includes the Sesame Street catalog and animated versions of popular storybooks. Check out up to 8 films per month, with a play of The Great Courses and Kanopy Kids permitting unlimited use for 30 days. *

LearnItLive

Wellness and Personal Development: Learn something new through thousands of live and on-demand classes representing over 100 topics with a focus on health, wellness, and personal development. Access this RBdigital Streaming Video on Demand service through a browser or download the RBdigital app to your favorite device, sign into it with your library card and PIN, then create an account.  A checkout provides 7 days unlimited watching, no monthly checkout limits. *

ProQuest Ebook Central (For Remote Users)

A collection of e-books covering K-12, career, arts, leisure and life skills.* 

ProQuest Ebook Central (In Library Version)

A collection of e-books covering K-12, career, arts, leisure and life skills.* 

SAMS Photofact

Repair manuals and wiring diagrams for consumer electronics. Thousands of devices including TVs and radios.*

Small Engine Repair Reference Center

Small Engine Repair Reference Center contains small engine repair manuals with thousands of step-by-step maintenance and repair instructions for hundreds of small engine machines including motorcycles, ATVs, personal water craft, lawn mowers, tractors, generators, and more.*

Universal Class

Over 500 video-based courses on a wide variety of subjects, from hard and soft business skills like management and technology to law, academics, alternative medicine, real estate, homeschooling, bartending, arts and crafts.  Courses are self-paced and Continuing Education credits are available. (Sign up with your library card number and create a password.  Must be 14 & up to register.) *

Recommended Websites

AllMovie (remote access only)

Search for movie information by title, person, keyword, and plotline.

Birdwatching.com

Website about wild birds and the sport of birding.

Common Sense Media

Offers developmentally age-appropriate, reliable information so you can decide what's best for your family. Includes reviews of movies, TV shows, books, games, and more.

Emily Post's Online Etiquette Encyclopedia

The Etipedia is a comprehensive online etiquette reference source.

Epicurious

Source for recipes, menus, cooking articles and food guides.

ESPN

Sports news.

Food Network

Recipes and cooking tips from popular TV cooking shows.

Houston Bikeways

Information for bicyclists in Houston including maps, trails, and much more.

Houston CitySearch

Directory of goods and services in Houston.

Instructables

A collaborative do-it-yourself website where people share what they do and how they do it, covering topics ranging from crafts to sports and games to technology and more.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Includes access to websites dating back to 1995 as well as a digital library of free books, music, and movies.

Knitting Help.com

Free online knitting how-to videos.

Knitting Pattern Central

Online directory of knitting patterns.

Knitty.com

Knitting patterns, articles, and FAQs.

Lifehacker

Tips and downloads for getting things done with a focus on computers and technology.

One Across

Crossword puzzle dictionary.

Out2Learn

Network of Houston-area after school and out-of-school programs and activities for youth ages 5-18 in the areas of academics, arts, sports, recreation, and college and career prep, as well as Houston Public Library events for kids. Directory is searchable by age, interest, and zip code and includes both free and for-fee programs. Sponsored by Houston Endowment, City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Education, United Way of Greater Houston, and Harris County Department of Education Center on After School and Enrichment.

Ravelry

A free website for knitters and crocheters. 

Sports Authority: Harris County

News about local sports from Houston/Harris County Sports Authority.

Texas Lottery

Find lottery results.

WikiHow

wikiHow is a collaborative effort to build and share the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual.