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A quick guide to making the most of your visit to the library.

This is where you will find a lot of the stuff that will make you ask "The library does that?" HCPL is a 21st-century library and as such our library services are not limited to reference questions and copying machines. Here you will information about income tax services, proctoring, borrowing WiFi hotspots, and a lot of other services you might know we offer!

Services

Meeting & Study Rooms
Reserve a meeting or study room for your next meeting, seminar, exhibit or study session.

Many HCPL branches have meeting and/or study rooms available to the public. You can reserve a space online or by calling the branch directly.

Reserve a room now

Please visit our Meeting and Study Room Policy for full details.

Meeting and Study Room Policy on the Library Use Policies page

Printing and Copying
Photocopiers and printers are available to the public at all branches for printing at a minimal cost.

Printing requires the use of a print card. Print cards cost $1.00 initially, and come with 50¢ credit for printing.  Funds may be added at any time to a print card using a copy card machine.

  • Photocopying - 15¢ per page black and white, 50¢ per page color (cash price)
  • Printing (computer), black and white - 10¢ per page
  • Printing (computer), color - 50¢ per page

NOTE: Printing and copying costs may vary at the Cy-Fair, Tomball, Law, and TMC Libraries.

Computers, Technology & Special Equipment
All HCPL branches have computers with internet access and printers for public use, but also have other equipment you can use.

Besides computers, laptops, and printers, many HCPL locations have an assortment of equipment for in-library use. These range from scanners, DVD players and typewriters to CAC readers for military personnel and 3D printers. Visit your branch page for a full list of available equipment.

To learn about borrowing laptops, kindle e-readers, CAC readers and our gardening tool library,  go to Frequently Asked Questions: Special Equipment 

Proctoring
A service for distance education students and others who need to take a test outside the traditional classroom

The Harris County Public Library system offers free proctoring services for individuals at most of its branch libraries. The availability of personnel, facilities, technology, and hours of operations vary from branch to branch. Please contact a librarian at your preferred location well in advance of your exam to determine if the branch will be able to accommodate your request.
 

For full Proctoring Guidelines, Go to Library Policies 

Tax Services
AARP Tax Aide services are offered free of charge beginning in February.

This year, avoid the stress and let AARP Tax Aides help prepare your tax return. AARP's friendly, trained volunteers have been helping folks with their taxes for over 50 years and they will be happy to do the same for you (and in case you are wondering, no, you don't have to be an AARP member, You don't even have to be eligible to be a member. Everyone is welcome).

The AARP Tax Aide service is offered on designated days from February 1 to the IRS tax deadline on April 15 at several Harris County Public Libraries. Visit our program calendar for times and locations: AARP Tax Aide Schedule at HCPL  NEED LINK to EVENTS

Below is a checklist of documents you should bring with you.

What to bring:

  • A copy of last year's income tax return(s)
  • Social Security numbers for all adults and dependents
  • W-2 forms from each employer
  • Unemployment compensation statements on 1099-G
  • SSA-1099 form if you were paid Social Security benefits
  • All 1099 forms (1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-B) showing interest and/or dividends and documentation showing original purchase price and purchase date of sold assets
  • 1099-misc showing any miscellaneous income
  • 1099-R form if you received a pension or annuity
  • All forms indicating federal income tax paid
  • All receipts or canceled checks if itemizing deductions

Find Tax Aide locations, days and times nearest you.

Small Business Services
Many HCPL branches present programs to help you start up or build your small business.

SCORE Small Business Counseling 

SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters. As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964. Go to Score Small Business Counseling in Events

Small Business Reference Center 

A collection of state-specific resources (including videos) supported with demographic data and other local information Go to Small Business Reference Center in Research

Emergency Response
HCPL Cooling and Disaster Relief Centers

Disaster Relief Centers

HCPL is currently working with Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) on an agreement to designate HCPL branches as official Disaster Recovery Centers. HCOHSEM Disaster Recovery Centers are where people can access the assistance and services they need most in times of emergency. Representatives from government agencies like FEMA, Small Business Administration and social services will be on hand, as well as aid organizations like the American Red Cross.

HCOHSEM will announce when and if Disaster Recovery Centers will be activated.

Cooling Centers

Summer heat can be dangerous, especially for seniors and people suffering from certain chronic conditions. When heat waves hit (and they will), HCPL encourages you to check on your neighbors who might be at risk and, if need be, offer to drive them to an HCPL location to cool off.  All HCPL locations are cooling centers during normal business hours. 

Because all HCPL branches (except LSC-CyFair Library), are closed on Sundays, HCPL, in partnership with Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HCOHSEM), has designated seven branches to be Sunday cooling centers in the event a heat wave occurs on a Sunday.

Barbara Bush Branch Library

Crosby Branch Library

High Meadows Branch Library

*Lone Star College CyFair Library*

Maud Marks Branch Library

Octavia Fields Branch Library

South Houston Branch Library

Please NOTE: These locations, with the exception of Lone Star College CyFair Library, will only open on a Sunday if there is a heat wave.  The operating hours are 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm. 

Passport Services
We're sorry. Passport Services are not currently available

We are working on ways to resume this helpful and popular service. We will keep you posted as we progress. Until then, please visit Travel.State.Gov for your questions about applying for and renewing your U.S. Passport