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 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. On a temporary basis, the number of hoopla checkouts that Library customers are allowed per calendar month has been increased to 4. You can check out videos for 72 hours, music for 7 days, and e-books, e-audiobooks, graphic novels check out for 21 days.*

ProQuest Ebook Central (For Remote Users)

TA 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 Photofacts

Repair manuals and wiring diagrams for consumer electronics 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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


Knitting patterns, articles, and FAQs.


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

One Across

Crossword puzzle dictionary.


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.


A free website for knitters and crocheters. 

Recipe Source

Recipes from around the world.

Sports Authority: Harris County

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

Texas Lottery

Find lottery results.


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