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.