Learn for the fun of it: How-to, hobby & craft books, magazines & more

Develop a new skill, dive deep into a hobby you love, or expand your knowledge on a topic you’ve always wanted to explore with these how-to books and resources our librarians love, plus upcoming programs for you to make and create.

How-to books

How-to resources from your digital library

Browse how-to ebooks, videos, and other resources available digitally with your Oak Park library card and PIN.



Online resources

  • Auto Repair Source: Do-it-yourself repair and maintenance information on most major manufacturers of domestic and imported vehicles.
  • Creativebug: An inspirational resource for DIY, crafters, and makers with more than 1,000 award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.
  • Hobbies & Crafts Source: Detailed how-to instructions and creative ideas for hobby enthusiasts of all kinds, with full-text articles from leading hobby and craft magazines.
  • LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com): Online learning platform with video tutorials to learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.
  • Mango Languages: Reach conversational proficiency in more than 70 languages, including English as a foreign language, good for tourists or beginners.
  • Muzzy: Language program for children with games and learning activities.
  • Pressbooks: Easy-to-use book writing software that creates a book in all the formats needed to publish, in print and digitally.

Videos: The Great Courses

The Great Courses instructional videos—with courses covering a wide range of topics, from Art to Zoology—are available on:

How-to programs

For all ages

Creative Studio: Studio A Open Hours

Wednesdays, August 2 & 16, 1-5 pm, Oak Park Public Library, Main Library. The Creative Studio is open! Open Studio hours allow patrons ages 14+ to come and work on self-directed projects using the Creative Studio space and resources. Children ages 13 and under may use the Creative Studio and work on projects together with an adult (18+) caregiver. Work spaces and materials are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Creative Technology staff will be on hand to assist with resources and access, but additional learning should be arranged separately via a Learning Lab appointment. Learn more »

Drop-In Family Art Activity & Art Exhibit Reception

Saturday, August 19, 10 am-12 pm, Main Library. Help celebrate the opening of the gallery exhibit E.A.C.H. Expression, Art, Community, and Health: Artworks about Real Life! Join artist Rachel Weaver Rivera, MFA, LCPC to create a small expressive painting on a wood square, to contribute to a multi-generational, mixed media quilt showing how we each belong to the grand design of real life—more mysterious, and beautiful than each of could ever imagine on our own. Learn more »

Vinyl Cutter Workshop: Sticky Vinyl Decals

Tuesday, August 22, 5:30-7 pm, Main Library. Learn how to use the Cricut or Cameo cutting plotter to create a vinyl decal from sticky vinyl to decorate a water bottle, binder, or anything else with a hard smooth surface! Pick out a design, send it to the machine to get cut, and then prep your decal for placement. You can bring an item in to put your finished sticky vinyl decal on, or bring your finished decal home with you to place later. Ages 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult (18+) caregiver. Register now »

For adults

Adult Improv

Tuesdays, 7-8:30 pm. Looking for a way to let your inner comedian run free? Want to improve your quick-thinking skills? Join us for a night of spontaneous comedy. All skill levels welcome. Warning: Hilarity will ensue.

Unwind as You Upcycle: An Art Workshop for Adults

Saturday, August 12, 1-3 pm, Maze Branch. Turn trash into treasure with Avian artist Casey Jones on National Garage Sale Day! She will share some of her own practices of making art out of discarded materials as well as some of her favorite Outsider artists in a presentation. This introduction will serve as the launching pad for participants to make their own art pieces on specially provided cardboard canvases. All levels of adult artmakers welcome! A list of optional supplies will be sent to registered participants. Register now »

For teens

Expression Section: DIY Fashion Workshop

Wednesday, August 9, 2-4:30 pm, Main Library. Expression Section is an arts-based outreach program consisting of monthly creative sessions. In this session, students will participate in a guided DIY Fashion Workshop where they will be encouraged to create works that communicate a message and beautify the Oak Park Public Library and surrounding community. Learn more »

Designing Mobile Apps

Thursday, August 10, 1:30-4:30 pm, Main Library. Students in grades 6-8 will work in teams to design a mobile app. They will select an app idea, develop a prototype, and present their final product to the class. This session will provide you with specific tools, techniques, and workflows to help you kick-off your mobile app idea the right way. Join us to learn the latest strategies in brainstorming and develop your abilities to outline a project concept and present it for feedback to help you make informed design decisions. Learn techniques to help you communicate a concept, create low-fidelity wireframes, user flows, prototypes, and to work within a team. So bring your pencils, crayons, markers, paper, post-it notes, and smartphone (if you have one) and let the fun begin! Register now »

For kids

Curiosity Club: Fun With STEAM

Wednesday, August 9, 4-5 pm, Main Library. Have fun exploring STEAM concepts in this hands-on Curiosity Club program for kids! Each month we'll explore a new concept through a fun and interactive activity. For grades K-5. Register now »

Letter Writing & Stationery Designing

Friday, August 11, 3-4 pm, Oak Park Public Library, Main Library. We have the supplies; you bring the creativity! Design your own personal stationery with stencils, drawings, stickers, and more, and use it to write letters to family or friends. Envelopes and stamps will be available. For grades K-5. Register now »

Ceramics Workshop for Kids

Saturday, August 12, 3-4:30 pm, Main Library. Make your own ceramic painting set! This ceramics lesson will be designed for students to create their own ceramic tools for painting and creating art. Students will be taught how to create a brush rinsing cup, a paintbrush rest, and a paint palette. Register now »

Stories & Nature Crafts for Preschoolers

Monday, August 14, 2-3 pm, Main Library. Join us for stories, music, songs, and nature-themed crafts in this storytime devoted to preschoolers. We will have a fun time exploring books and art together in this hands-on interactive program. For ages 3-6 and caregivers. Register now »

Back-to-School Button Making

Wednesday, August 16, 3:30-4:30 pm, Main Library. Drop in to make some great new pin-back buttons to decorate your backpack! Use our art or make your own, all supplies provided. For grades 2-5. Register now »