January 2009

Spotlight On…  DIY Resources

During difficult economic times, it pays to know how to do your own home repair and maintenance tasks. The Library can help!


The Library’s collection of research databases contains the following specialized DIY resources. To use these databases from home, you’ll need a valid library card and PIN.

  • The Home Improvement Reference Center is a great resource for home repair, maintenance, and remodeling projects. It includes articles from magazines and reference books and step-by-step instructions for thousands of plumbing, outdoor, woodworking, electrical, and decorating projects. The “toolbox,” includes how-to videos, a glossary, and conversion charts.
  • The Auto Repair Reference Center contains repair information on over 35,000 domestic and imported vehicles from most major manufacturers (1945-present). The repair information includes factory drawings, photographs, technical service bulletins and recalls, wiring diagrams, specifications, maintenance schedules, and labor time estimates.
  • You'll find thousands of step-by-step maintenance and repair instructions for small engine machines (motorcycles, ATVs, lawn mowers, tractors, snow blowers, generators, etc.) and their supporting components in the Small Engine Repair Reference Center. Routine maintenance, such as tune-ups and brake service, as well as more extensive repairs involving engine transmission disassembly are covered. Photographs and detailed illustrations accompany many of the documents.


cover of Cut Your Energy Bills Now

Of course, we also have plenty of books in our collection to help you tackle projects around the house. Here are some recent titles:


Try some of these helpful videos in our film collection (unless otherwise indicated, all are available on DVD)


cover of Family Handyman

On the Web

  • Better Homes and Gardens: Home Improvement. The companion website to the magazine covers decorating, building and remodeling, crafts, entertaining, cooking, and gardening.
  • BeJane.com. “Home improvement from a woman’s perspective”. Home improvement articles, tips and tricks, videos, tutorials, and how-to guides.
  • DIY Network. Step-by-step instructions for 15,000 projects related to home improvement, the garden and backyard, crafts, and woodworking. Each project contain detailed directions, materials and tool lists, and photographs. Streaming video channels, chat rooms, and bulletin boards are also available.
  • DoItYourself.com. Lots of articles and over 100 moderated forums for DIYers to swap ideas and questions.
  • This Old House. The companion website to the PBS home improvement/remodeling magazine and TV show. It offers a broad range of how-to and repair projects, planning ideas, and tool/product advice.
  • Ace Projects and Solutions. Step-by-step how to's, FAQs, Learning Guides, seasonal tips, and project videos.

Still need help?

Call (513-369-6900) or email the Information and Reference Department and a librarian will be happy to assist you!