Free, Reliable, Online – DIY Info from TBPL

Have you been thinking about starting a project around the house, or doing some maintenance on your car?  Your Library can help!  A Library card, and smart phone, tablet, or computer, and an internet connection are all you need to access free, reliable, online do-it-yourself information.  

The Home Improvement Reference Centre, and Auto Repair Source may be found in My Giant Search.  Go to, click on the Sleeping Giant, and log in with your Library card number and PIN.  If you need a card, forgot your PIN, or have any questions, email us at and we’ll be happy to help.

Home Improvement Reference Center graphic

The Home Improvement Reference Center covers projects for any room in your house, and for your yard.  The main categories are Decorating, Electrical, Maintenance, Outdoor, Plumbing, Remodelling, and Woodworking.  In the Outdoor section you can find complete instructions for building several styles of doghouses and birdfeeders, play structures, and sheds.  Fun ideas to keep the kids (and adults) busy in the back yard are the simple balance beam, and portable putting green.  The Decorating section includes some outdoor projects as well.  In the Creative Landscapes section you can find inspiration for water features, outdoor rooms, and garden furniture.  

The Home Improvement Reference Center is a great resource for both new and seasoned home owners.  Check lists, getting started guides, and photo galleries are included in all categories.  How-to videos are included as well.   You can make an account in Home Improvement Reference Center, and save information to a folder.  

The information in Home Improvement Reference Center comes from more than 150 reference books, 50 magazines and trade publications.  It includes 35,000 images not available anywhere else online, and nearly 100 videos of popular home repair projects.

Auto Repair Source graphicAuto Repair Source provides up-to-date service and repair information for thousands of domestic and imported vehicles.  You start by looking up your vehicle, and then can access technical service bulletins, torque specifications, wiring diagrams, part numbers, and much more.  Diagrams can easily be resized and printed.  

Diagnostic trouble codes flowcharts and step-by-step diagnostic instructions cover powertrain, chassis, body, and network communication.  Part numbers, diagrams and pricing are included for thousands of the most commonly replaced parts, including manufacturer-suggested retail price to help users validate the cost of repairs and identify all iterations of a part number or part status (current, superseded, split, discontinued).

If relaxing is more your style, check out our other online resources at, and explore books and magazines to read online, eBooks and music to listen to, videos to watch, and more.

Joanna Aegard  – If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.

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