Library Blog

Summertime DIY with Online Resources

Summertime has arrived, school is out, and the grass is growing. Need to know where to find tune-up help for your lawn mower/tractor?  Or want information for working on your own car?  Maybe you’re thinking about adding in some new landscape features to your yard. Perhaps doing some outdoor projects with your children, such as building a birdhouse. Well, we have online resources to help with all that and more on our Automotive & DIY Resources and Lifestyle & Hobbies pages.  As you’ll see, there are resources to meet any and every DIY desire!

Small Engine Repair Reference Center is the resource you need when you have any motorized equipment that needs repair which is not a car or truck.  In the Outdoor Power Equipment section, you can find repair help for all the equipment used to work in your yard year-round:

  • Chain Saws
  • Rotary Tiller
  • String Trimmer & Leaf Blowers
  • Yard & Garden Tractors
  • Riding Lawn Mowers
  • Walk-Behind Mowers
  • Snow Throwers (for your winter needs)

And for any farmers out there, this resource includes farm tractor repair under the Tractors section!

For those looking to work on your own cars and trucks – from oil change help to engine repair and more – the library has two resources:

Chilton Library is able to be used from the convenience of your own home.  Chilton, of course, is a well-recognized name for auto repair manuals.  Now you can use it online and have access to repair manuals for vehicles from as far back as 1901!  So, you classic and antique car aficionados can use it to help tune-up your vehicles for the many car cruising events that occur each year.

Once you have all your equipment up and running, you may want to do some landscaping or even build onto your house.  Well, there’s a resource to help with that as well:

Home Improvement Reference Center has all your DIY needs.  You can find out how to add water features to your landscape, such as fountains and small ponds. It has information and step-by-step Project instructions for building Arbors & Gazebos, Decks, Fences and so much more.  You can either search by keyword or browse the Outdoor category.  There are also Fix-It 101 instructions to help you with doing your own repairs, such as: Fixing a Concrete Walk and Gas Grill Tune-Up.

Then for those who enjoy the yard and garage sales to purchase used radios and TVs for their own use (or sometimes to resell), we have the perfect resource to help you repair those devices so they’ll work again:

SAMS Photofact Online has radio and TV repair manuals and wiring diagrams from the far past to the present day.  In addition, if you don’t see information for the model you need, they have a “contact us” page where you can fill in your information, and they will reply to you with whether they are able to provide the needed repair manual or wiring diagram

And a great resource for all the gardeners out there who hope to grow great fruits, vegetables, and flowers for the dinner table and home, there is:

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center, which is found under Lifestyles & Hobbies, has all sorts of information and help for working with your garden!  For those new to gardening, a great place to start is by going to Browse by Category, click Home & Garden, then click Gardening, and finally limit the Source Type to Hobby Profile.  You will find a great article covering everything about gardening.  Plus, this is the resource for any DIY craft or hobby you might have or want to learn.

Finally, lest we forget, there’s always our library’s digital collection resources for DIY as well! OverDrive eBooks & eAudiobooks has lots for DIY’ers.  Just a keyword search of “DIY” finds titles, such as:

You can also browse the Subjects in Nonfiction for DIY eBooks & eAudiobooks under:

Hoopla has not only eBooks and eAudiobooks, but also movies and television shows.  Just as with OverDrive, you will find lots of DIY ebook choices by searching “DIY,” such as:

And you can find even more when you browse within each format by categories, such as:

For eBooks, try:

For eAudiobooks, try:

For Movies, try:

For Television, try:

For help in using any of our Online Resources, contact the library at

Sara Churchill

Sara Churchill is the Digital Services Specialist and Assistant Supervisor in the Information Services Department at Main Library. A major fan of technology devices and computer research resources at work, she enjoys helping everyone learn to use their devices and the library's many online resources.  She loves reading Science Fiction/Fantasy books, British cozy mysteries, True Crime and other true stories, plus a past reader of horror fiction by the likes of Stephen King and John Saul (among others).  Also, she’s a big fan of Sci-fi, action, horror, spaghetti westerns, and based-on-a-true story movies.  Her blogs are for adults and the entire family to enjoy reading and trying out the many online resources free for PLYMC library cardholders to use.