Do you want to make a difference in a child's life? Then volunteer for HCPL's Book Buddies!

Book Buddies is a free program that brings children and volunteers together to share the joy of reading. It pairs trained volunteers (Big Buddies) with children in Kindergarten through 3rd grades (Little Buddies). For 10 weeks, the Buddies meet once a week for 45 minutes of shared reading.

Our next session will run from February 2017 to April 2017. We are offering the program at five locations with Adult Volunteers: Freeman, Katy, Kingwood, Fairbanks, and Octavia Fields. If you are 18 or over and interested in volunteering, please fill out the online application.

Gulf Coast Reads The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell

Gulf Coast Reads starts October 1. There will be special events, author visits, and, of course, lively discussions all across southeast Texas.

Gulf Coast Reads Events Calendar 
For more information all month long, visit
Follow on Facebook and Twitter
and to learn more about The Train to Crystal City, visit

Power Up @ Your Library

Thursday, September 15 is Power Up @ Your Library Day in Texas, and Harris County Public Library, along with libraries across the state, is showcasing some of the ways libraries empower and energize individuals and communities beyond traditional library services by highlighting the wide range of programs you can--and will--find every day at HCPL branches: programs for people of all ages, programs that foster innovation and imagination, programs to help improve one's own life and programs to help you help others, and much more. If you can imagine it. You can find it at your library.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month @ HCPL

September 15 - October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, and Harris County Public Library is celebrating with a variety of programs for adults, teens, and kids. We'll have music ranging from Spanish classical to Tejano. We'll have food and crafts reflecting the kaleidoscopic diversity of Hispanic culture. We'll have movies and story times and, of course, we will celebrate the greatest gift of all: chocolate!

Below is a small sampling of Hispanic Heritage Month programs, check your branch's Events Calendar to see what else is happening near you.

Get the Buzz on Books with HCPL and The Buzz Magazines

Harris County Public Library is excited to announce the launch of Book Buzz, our new collaboration with The Buzz Magazines. Book Buzz is a weekly blog where HCPL Librarians, along with those from Bellaire City and Houston Public libraries will share their expertise and their passion for reading.

This week, HCPL's Kathleen Green, Collection Development Manager - Youth Services, writes about the benefits of reading to children at bedtime, and, of course, recommends some classic and soon-to-be classic bedtime stories to send your littles one off to sleep.

September Is National Library Card Sign-Up Month

Library lovers come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all have in common is that they remember getting their first library card and they remember knowing with a certainty they rarely felt before or since that it was a life-changing moment.

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month and this week Book Hunters in Brief brings you books that are about that moment.

This October, Gulf Coast Reads The Train to Crystal City

October is just around the corner and for Harris County Public Library, and partner libraries, school districts,  universities and other organizations all over southeast Texas that means we are busy planning programs and booking presenters for Gulf Coast Reads 2016.

Now in its seventh year, Gulf Coast Reads is a reading initiative that encourages the reading and discussion of a selected title each October. It is meant to raise awareness of public libraries’ crucial role in building stronger, more connected communities and to remind readers just how fun it is share and talk over a great story.

Passport Services


The response to the passport services offered by Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel at four HCPL branches has been so great, he decided to expand the hours of operation at each branch--from one day a month to three! See details below.



Walk-ins are welcome, but you can call 713-755-1674 to make an appointment at any of the four HCPL locations.

Libraries + Technology = The Biggest Smile You'll See Today

Katelyn is a 5 year-old girl from Victoria, Texas who was born without a fully-formed left hand. Her family contacted Harris County Public Library to ask about 3D-printing a prosthetic, then visited the Innovation Lab here at the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library to meet with staff and volunteers and to discuss options. We decided to try making Katelyn an "Unlimbited Arm" from Team UnLimbited, part of the E-Nable Community.

Thanks to a lot of dedicated work from Innovation Lab volunteers (particularly Michael Craig and Robert E Bannon), the device was recently completed and delivered to Katelyn. In true maker fashion, Katelyn's dad has already made some modifications and improvements to make the arm more robust. Katelyn is looking forward to using her new hand during the coming school year.

With the continued support of the Friends of Freeman Library, and thanks to the dedication of volunteers around the world and right here in our local library, Katelyn is able to increase the function of her left hand because a public library has a makerspace - imagine that! We are so glad to have been part of this project.

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