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Our brick & mortar libraries are only part of our story.

Whether it be visits to assisted living facilities and local elementary schools, face-painting at Harris County Precinct 4's annual Sunday Afternoon in the Park, information and activity tables at Comicpalooza and Houston Maker Faire, pop-up libraries at farmers markets or our growing fleet of mobile outreach vehicles, Harris County Public Library brings library services where you may least expect them. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we provided books, children's activities and a mobile computer center with internet connection for hundreds made homeless by the storm.

In HCPL's mission statement, we promise to "enrich lives and strengthen communities through innovative services within and beyond our walls." HCPL brings library services and programs into the community

HCPL Outreach

Curiosity Cruiser
A Super Library on Wheels
In partnership with Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation Houston

We seek to improve the quality of life of Houston children by providing:

  • FREE books for children to read and build their very own home libraries
  • a fun, safe space to explore and activate imaginations
  • a variety of hands-on science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) activities
  • Family reading events and workshops

To learn more about the Curiosity Cruiser and where it will be visiting next, please check out the website at

Take a peek into our mission:

Gradcafé on the Go
A mobile service dedicated to providing lower income communities access to educational resources.
In partnership with GRADcafé, 

GradCafé is a mobile outreach vehicle that is a one-stop clearinghouse of information, resources, and experts offering free guidance to individuals preparing for, applying to and enrolling in a higher education institution of their choice, and completing their college and career plans. For more information about GradCafé, please visit their website at

Reading Express Mobile Classroom
An early literacy mobile classroom.
In partnership with Making it Better Texas

The Reading Express is a mobile classroom that takes early-literacy programming to children ages 2 months to 4 years. This mobile classroom is a dynamic and fun school on wheels for children 2 months to 4 years of age. The curriculum is designed to develop phonological and print awareness, oral language, fine motor and other early literacy skills through the exploration of books, nursery rhymes, songs, art and play. It will reach into high-need communities throughout Harris County and provide 45-minute interactive classes that will be delivered weekly. Classes will take place either on the bus or in community rooms in apartment complexes and/or other community-based venues.

HCPL @ Your Event
Our Outreach Team

HCPL's Outreach Team is always looking for opportunities to spread the word about all of our great programs and services like Maker Central, Literacy, Citizenship and ESL services, not to mention our ever-expanding catalog of digital media like eBooks and streaming video. Look for our booths at Houston Maker Faire, Comicpalooza, Houston Energy Day, Houston Pride, Harris County Precinct 4's annual Sunday Afternoon in the Park and Shakespeare in the Shade at Burroughs Park and just about anywhere else people get together. We're all about fun interactive activities and mobile technology that change the way people think about their library.

If you are planning an event and think HCPL's Outreach Team might be a good fit, we would love to talk to you!

Call HCPL Programs, Partnerships and Outreach: 713-274-6600.

Juvenile Probation Library Services
Library services for young men and women who are completing residential programs within the juvenile probation system.
In partnership with the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department.

"Reading fiction not only develops our imagination and creativity, it gives us the skills to be alone. It gives us the ability to feel empathy for people we've never met, living lives we couldn't possibly experience for ourselves, because the book puts us inside the character's skin."

--Ann Patchett, author

The partnership between Harris County Public Library (HCPL) and Harris County Juvenile Probation Department (HCJPD) is a collaboration designed to increase library collections and services for youth participating in detention and probation programs. Library staff lead literacy programs and work with HCJPD teachers and staff to tie library services into curriculum and projects. For example, one location is beginning a large gardening project and appropriate books are being added to the library to support this effort. Workshops demonstrating how to get a digital HCPL library card and access databases for school work have also been conducted. As HCPL works to serve patrons from all walks of life, this partnership strives to encourage a love of reading  for attaining knowledge, for pleasure, and for the experience of "walking in someone else's shoes" for an at-risk youth population.

HCPL @ Your Community Center
Harris County Public Library offers a variety of library services and programs at community centers across the county

Our community center outreach programs are offered on a semester by semester basis in collaboration with community center staff. Please check community center schedules for programs and availability.

Chinese Community Center

Finnigan Park Community Center

Julia C. Hester House

Lincoln Park Community Center

Mangum-Howell Center

YET2 Center

Outreach Blog View HCPL Blog >

Meet the Curiosity Cruiser Team!

As we are fast approaching summer, the Curiosity Cruiser is staying busy and will be visiting quite a few sites this year.

HCPL provides library services and resources to millions of people. Akila Washington, our Juvenile Probation Outreach Specialist, brings the library to children inside the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department facilities. From middle grade books to adult nonfiction, her patrons are voracious readers. Come read about them!