About HCPL

Through its administrative offices, HCPL distributes materials to twenty-six branch locations through its in house delivery system. The administrative offices also serve as the central point for the network and circulation system in addition to housing the financial services, material selections, acquisitions, and cataloging departments. The administrative offices are not a branch location. The Harris County Archives has a finding aid to historical HCPL documents.

The Library

The Harris County Public Library system (HCPL) has an annual circulation of over 10 million items. Harris County, which encompasses Houston, Texas, is one of the largest urban counties in the U.S. The HCPL network of 26 community-focused branch libraries is committed to providing excellent customer service, strong collections, and cutting edge information technology for the 21st Century. Reference assistance is available in person, by phone, by email, and "virtually" through the HCPL eBranch.


The Library maintains a collection of over 2 million items, with traditional printed books and audiovisual resources including videos, CDs, and DVDs. Electronic resources on the the World Wide Web, eBooks, and many online databases are integrated into the traditional collection. Reflecting the multicultural nature of our City and County, foreign language materials -- particularly in Spanish and Vietnamese, as well as other languages -- are included in the collection development program.


With over 1,500 public computers available for access to electronic resources including the Internet, HCPL and other library catalogs, as well as numerous general and specialized databases made available through library subscriptions, information technology at HCPL is world class. All public service computers also offer the full MS Office suite making word processing (MS Word), database management (MS Access), spreadsheet (Excel), and presentation (PowerPoint) software available to all Houstonians. A growing number of branch locations offer laptop computers for check-out on a Harris County Library Card. Wireless connectivity for customers who wish to bring their own laptops, tablets, or smartphones is available at all locations. Kurzweil technology is installed at strategic locations throughout the library network to enable effective use of resources for customers who are visually impaired. Library staff offer ongoing training on library resources, software, and equipment resources.