Start your DIY work in the library

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Saw? Check.

Library card? Check.

Before embarking on a home improvement project — or even visiting the local hardware store — be sure to check out the Brantford Public Library.

A great resource to start a home project is the Home Improvement Reference Center, available for free through the library’s EBSCOhost databases. This comprehensive database provides full-text access to more than 150 home improvement reference works and over 50 magazines and trade publications. Users can search the database by category including plumbing, electrical and decoration or use the powerful search function to find what you need.

If you need help using this database, attend a Library Tech Time session or book a one-hour session with a staff member through the library’s online calendar.

The library has a collection of DIY books large enough to fill a dozen wheelbarrows. You can’t go wrong with Mike Holmes’ books, The Holmes Manual and Make It Right. You can also check out great all-around guides including The Book of Home Improvement and The Book of Home How-To by Black and Decker.

There’s also the entertaining book The Cheap Handyman: True (and Disastrous) Tales From a Home Improvement Expert Guy Who Should Know Better.

You can also borrow a wide range of books on plumbing, electrical, outdoor projects and DIY how-to’s for every room in your house. One of the most popular home improvement requests librarians receive is material about decks.

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If you’re building a deck or looking to renovate your current deck, check out 1001 Design Ideas for Decks by Joe Provey and Decks Complete by Scott Grice.

If you’re looking for decorating ideas, try Universal Class’s online learning database of video courses.

Available free with your library card, get inspired by courses including How to Decorate Your Home, Interior Design 101, Interior Decorating Made Easy, and Fen Shui.

You can take as many courses as you like at any time.

The PressReader service also offers dozens of on-demand digital magazines. These range from The Family Handyman to interior design magazines from all over the world. It’s amazing to see the range of styles from the UK to the Philippines.

At Your Library is a weekly column produced by the staff of Brantford Public Library. Readers who require more information can visit

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