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Home > Blog > October 2013 > Parkway Central Library to Move Material from Closed Storage Stacks to New Free Library Operations Center at Southbank

Beginning October 15 through May 1, the Free Library of Philadelphia will be moving some 500,000 volumes currently housed in its closed storage book stacks at the Parkway Central Library to the new Free Library Operations Center at Southbank, located at 34th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue. During the moving period, these items will be inaccessible to the public, and include select government documents, bound journals, oversized books, and other infrequently accessed materials, representing a fraction of the Library’s more than 7 million items in total.

The Free Library Operations Center at Southbank is a state-of-the-art facility that will help the Free Library better preserve and care for these materials within a climate-controlled environment. By moving these volumes, the Free Library will be able to replace the six levels of metal stacks with specialized compact shelving featuring updated temperature and humidity controls, which will allow for the eventual return of the most requested titles from the closed storage stacks to Parkway Central. The remaining material will be permanently housed at Southbank and will be available within 48 hours upon customer request. In addition to helping the Free Library best conserve and protect its resources, moving items from its closed storage stacks to the new Southbank facility will help to open up needed floor space at Parkway Central for public and programmatic use.

Customers wishing to access any of the materials from Parkway Central’s closed storage stacks during the moving period will be able to place a request through the Interlibrary Loan system and may receive them from one of the Free Library’s many partner institutions across the Commonwealth. After May 1, these items will be available again for customer use.

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Tue, October 08, 2013
Does this move to southbank include the Philadelphia census bound volumes from 1970? I might be needing them.
Susan Warner - philadelphia
Tue, October 08, 2013
Hi Susan, The print publications of the 1970 Census of Population and Housing for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, as well as those publications specific to Philadelphia County (PA), are part of the reference section of the Government Publications Department at Parkway Central and will remain accessible! Best, Michelle
Michelle - Free Library
Wed, November 13, 2013
Is there going to be parking at the South Bank Facility?
George - New Jersey
Thu, November 14, 2013
Hi George, The South Bank Facility will not be open to the public. Materials will be retrieved by staff upon request and transported to the appropriate Free Library location. On occasion, researchers who require the use of many volumes at once will be allowed to use an office at South Bank, and free parking will be available in such cases.
Michelle - Free Library
Tue, June 17, 2014
Hi! Maybe I'm too late for this kind of inquiry/request, but the Parkway Central Librarys actual building materialand furniture, such as a vintage card catalog, the steps, the bricks, the railings....will any of those things be made available for purchase? I am building a library in my home...and I am a reduce reuse recycle (read should be in there just to make a point to the public)HOUND! I wouldn't dream of buying new materials or furniture...but the idea of building it from reclaimed library building materials wouldbe a dream come true! If this is in no way possible, could you please tell me how I could possibly find the vintage card catalog? I know I can find them online, and I do realize the ones for sale from people probably did start out at a library, but it just wouldnt be the same! Besides, I'd rather give the money to the Free Public Library of Philadelphia! Thanks, Trish
Trish Leinmiller - Philadelphia
Wed, June 18, 2014
Dear Trish, Thank you for your interest in the Free Library of Philadelphia and in all things "library"! We have completed the move of more than 500,000 volumes to our new storage facility. The empty shelves here at Parkway Central consist of unattractive nine-foot high steel shelves. There are no card catalogs, steps, bricks, or railings involved. As an agency of the City of Philadelphia, the Free Library must abide by the City's guidelines for disposing of City property as specified in the Home Rule Charter. We cannot sell furnishings to individuals." Thanks, Donald
Donald - Free Library
Wed, September 10, 2014
Is it possible to 'obtain' not just READ a Copy of the 1965 LBJ Administration's U S Justice Commission's Report: "The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society"? Oue ONEFeltonville community group is doing a lot of research on the "Broken Windows" Theory (Kelling, et al circa 1982/3) and would like to se an original copy of that document--which was the only policing theory prior to Kelling et al... Your assistance will be greatly apprecitaed. the folks over at FLP/ILL have been a great resource!
Michael Blackie - Feltonville (Wyoming Branch) Community
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