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The Free Library Welcomes 'Hear Me Out' Dialogue Series Program!

Do you know your fellow library patrons? Are you interested in joining an authentic learning space with fellow patrons across Pennsylvania? The Free Library is excited to introduce Hear Me Out : a digital, facilitated dialogue series…

A Census Story

In 1930, Dorothy Evelyn Hudson lived in a rented home on an unimproved dirt road in Fairfield County, South Carolina with her uncle, aunt, and their four-year-old son. Dorothy, age eleven, was the eldest of her siblings, having two…

Business Librarian and Business Owner: Use Your Resources

Being a business owner can be tough, because there are so many moving parts and the only constant is change. It’s even more difficult to own and operate a business during a global pandemic when nothing is "normal" and…

Defying Putin: The Dangers and Opportunities in Opposing Russia’s President

Bad things happen to people that Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, dislikes. Currently, Aleksi Navalny, the most important leader of Russia’s opposition, lies in a German hospital bed struggling to recover from a cup of…

Picture Book Highlights | Fall Is in the Air

Is Fall your favorite season? Many people would say yes! Where I grew up, we didn’t have very defined seasons. That is, seasons would blend one into another, without any clear sign that something different was happening in our…

Philly Jazz Legends: Sun Ra

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting major figures in jazz history who were in some sense from Philly. Every one of the bolded album titles below can be streamed for free with your library card via Alexander…

Free Library Board of Trustees Upcoming Public Meeting on Thursday, September 24 at 8:00 a.m.

The Free Library Board of Trustees will be holding its first quarterly meeting of FY21 on Thursday, September 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The meeting will take place through the online meeting platform Zoom, due to continued…

Capes Out, Cowls On for Batman Day!

On the third Saturday in September, comic book, superhero, and pop culture fans alike celebrate all things Batman ! And sure, it's a made-up "holiday" , but if Batman Day is at the very least just an excuse to read, watch,…

The Picture of Health: The Strange Case of John F. Kennedy

During the critical first presidential debate in 1960, the difference in the physical appearance of the two candidates could not have been sharper. Vice President Richard Nixon looked like a man who belonged in a hospital. The…

Meet Your Library Staff: Debi Leonard - Work-Study Program Coordinator

As part of our  ongoing series  of blog posts highlighting our awesome staff throughout the Free Library of Philadelphia, today we take some time to speak with Debi Leonard, who serves as  Work-Study Program Coordinator…

Summer Outreach in the North Central Cluster

When we reflect on the highly unusual Summer of Wonder 2020 , one highlight stands out for the staff at the North Central Cluster of Libraries – making and sharing Grab ‘n Go Activity Kits. Thanks to materials from…

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Latinx Authors and Illustrators

Today, September 15, marks the beginning of National Hispanic American Heritage month. As part of the celebration, we want to highlight the works of Latinx authors and illustrators of picture books. These books will entertain, teach,…

Cydney Brown Named the 2020-2021 Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate

I still have my whole life ahead of me and I’m not giving up now. You can’t silence my voice. And when you come for one of us We rise up, you give us no choice. — from “Do you ever wonder?” by Cydney Brown,…

Strengthening My Imagination Through Audiobooks

Listening to audiobooks allows me to travel to unknown worlds. Thinking of the storytelling idea, process, climax, and ending excite my logical mind. On the other hand, creating worlds with images, sounds, sensations, and smells uplifts…

Looking Back on the Free Library’s First All-Virtual Summer of Wonder!

In this unprecedented time, the Free Library has had a lot of firsts. We pulled together to bring you our first virtual Summer of Wonder with the help of librarians and library staff, camp counselors, teachers, caregivers, activists,…

Whipping Up a Dream Pie

As a child, I loved eating, tasting, and experimenting with different ingredients. On Saturdays, I would spend my day watching cooking shows before the Food Network became a thing. It was my dream to become a chef and I practiced what…

Picture Books Highlights | Books and Reading

This year going back to school looks very different than ever before. No school buses, no first day back at school, no new classrooms, no field trips, etc. At least, not yet. It will take some adjusting, for sure. But through these…

Edible Alphabet Recipe of the Week: Veggie Mac and Cheese

Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center . The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. For the time…

Immigration and Citizenship Resources from the Free Library

2020 has brought many changes to the United States, including changes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Free Library stands with immigrants and is here to support the information needs of all Philadelphia…

Available Services are Expanding at the Free Library!

We have good news to share! Following the guidance of public health officials, the Free Library is now expanding our available services at some of our locations to include several in-building resources.  You can now visit…

Teen Virtual Book Club: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Are you a teen who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you! Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their teen patrons…

Teen Virtual Book Club: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Are you a teen who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you! Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their teen patrons…

Teen Virtual Book Club: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Are you a teen who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you! Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their teen patrons…

Adult Virtual Book Club: Another Brooklyn

Are you an adult who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you!   Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their…

Adult Virtual Book Club: Another Brooklyn

Are you an adult who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you!   Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their…

Adult Virtual Book Club: Another Brooklyn

Are you an adult who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you!   Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their…

Fun Fact Mondays-Virtual

Learn some fun facts on a particular topic by checking out our Facebook or Instagram page! 

Fun Fact Mondays-Virtual

Learn some fun facts on a particular topic by checking out our Facebook or Instagram page! 

Writing Skills for English Language Learners

Fridays October 2 - December 18, 2020 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Online Learning Circle - Join our study group to improve your English writing skills.  Every week, participants will complete one lesson from 'ESL Basic Writing…

Adult Virtual Book Club: Her Body and Other Parties

Are you an adult who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you!   Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their…

Adult Virtual Book Club: Her Body and Other Parties

Are you an adult who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you!   Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their…

Adult Virtual Book Club: Her Body and Other Parties

Are you an adult who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you!   Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their…

Virtual- Kids' Crafternoon

Check out our Facebook or Instagram page to see a craft that you can do at home! Most crafts require materials you may already have at home! 

Scholar Meal Distribution

Scholar Meal Distribution -- Tuesdays until December 15th, 12 pm   Students under the age of 18 years old can visit Tuesdays between 12 to 2 pm (or until we run out) to receive a five-day meal box, which includes five breakfasts…

Pop-Up Cooking Classes 2020

Stop by once a month for Keisha Prosser’s Pop-up Mobile Cooking classes. Bringing the fun back into the kitchen! Lessons include: knife skills, team building, cooking and baking principles, food safety, healthy choices, and how to…

Fun Fact Mondays-Virtual

Learn some fun facts on a particular topic by checking out our Facebook or Instagram page! 

Writing Skills for English Language Learners

Fridays October 2 - December 18, 2020 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Online Learning Circle - Join our study group to improve your English writing skills.  Every week, participants will complete one lesson from 'ESL Basic Writing…

Virtual- Kids' Crafternoon

Check out our Facebook or Instagram page to see a craft that you can do at home! Most crafts require materials you may already have at home! 

Virtual-Wednesday Tongue Twister

Log onto our Facebook or Instagram account to see our weekly tongue twister challenge.  Can you say the phrase three times fast??

Virtual- Kids' Crafternoon

Check out our Facebook or Instagram page to see a craft that you can do at home! Most crafts require materials you may already have at home! 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States, who served 27 years and was an architect of the legal fight for women's rights starting in the 1970s. Here are some titles from our…

Chadwick Boseman

The talented and award-winning actor played several historical figures, such as Jackie Robinson in "42" (2013), James Brown in "Get on Up" (2014), and Thurgood Marshall in "Marshall" (2017). His role as the superhero Black Panther in the…

Learn a Foreign Language

Prepare for your next vacation or for the next time you dine out by teaching yourself a new language.

2020 Hugo Award Nominees and Winners

The Hugo Awards, first presented in 1953 and presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is also…

Ebooks about Family

Picture books accessible virtually about families of all shapes and sizes.

John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis was one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence took him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, receiving the Medal of Freedom from the…

Ennio Morricone

Italian-born Oscar-winning film composer whose vast body of work encompasses more than 500 films. Here is a mere sample of the life and work of "The Maestro".

Community Cultural Exchange

Created for Community Cultural Exchange, a group convened by the Philadelphia artist Beth Heinly to meet online in May-June 2020, discuss art as social practice and individually carry out actions that address issues important to the group

WealthEngine

WealthEngine is a research and screening tool which helps nonprofit organizations find individual prospects.

Value Line

Research, recommendations, rankings & financial information on 3,500 stocks, more than 2,000 mutual funds, as well as options, convertibles, & OTC special situations.

U.S. History In Context

Covers themes, events, individuals and periods in U.S. history from pre-colonial times to the present. The material also includes access to the citations for over 180 additional history journals from the Institute for Scientific…

U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980)

The bound, sequentially numbered volumes of all the Reports, Documents, and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives constitutes a rich source of primary source material on all aspects of American history. Upon…

TumbleBooks

TumbleBooks is an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love. Check out our home user guide

Student Resources In Context

"Thousands of curriculum-targeted primary documents, biographies, topical essays, background information, critical analyses, full-text coverage of 800 magazines, over 10,000 photographs and illustrations, and more than 8 hours of audio…

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an authoritative, comprehensive Web-based reference work about philosophy, useful to scholars of all levels as well as the general public. Published through Stanford University’s Center for the…

Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries

With an extraordinary array of more than 35,000 individual tracks of streaming music, spoken word, and natural and human-made sounds, users can listen to performances by American folk icons such as Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Pete Seeger…

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture, and Law

This HeinOnline collection brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the U.S. and the English-speaking world. It includes nearly 2,000 titles, with every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery,…

SimplyAnalytics

A mapping and data visualization application that makes it easy to create interactive maps and reports using powerful demographic, business, and marketing data. Watch this video to learn more

B. Janet Hibbs and Anthony Rostain | The Stressed Years of Their Lives: Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years

In conversation wth Elizabeth Mosier A longtime faculty member at Drexel University, the Family Institute, and Widener University, B. Janet Hibbs is a renowned expert on family issues and partner relationships. A professor of psychiatry…

Roddy Doyle | Love

In conversation with Liz Moore , best selling author of Long Bright River Lauded for his “marvelous” and “bloody brilliant” ( Toronto Star ) works of fiction, prolific novelist, dramatist, children’s author, and screenwriter Roddy…

Ezekiel J. Emanuel | Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. An oncologist and author of nine books on medical ethics and healthcare, he…

Chris Wallace | Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

The popular anchor of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace has reported on nearly every watershed national and international political event. During his 50-year career in journalism, he has earned three Emmys, the duPont-Columbia Silver…

Inga Saffron | Becoming Philadelphia: How an Old American City Made Itself New Again

Architectural critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 20 years, Inga Saffron won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her sagacious critiques of urbanism, planning, and Philly’s hyper-rapid transformation after a half-century slump.…

Stacey Abrams | Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition Stacey Abrams  is the New York Times bestselling author of  Lead from the Outside , a serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO, and political leader. After serving…

Donna Rifkind | The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood

A prolific book critic whose reviews appear in the  Wall Street Journal , the  Washington Post , and the  New York Times Book Review , Donna Rifkind was a 2006 finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the…

Imani Perry In Conversation with Kiese Laymon: On the Uprising since George Floyd's Murder and Black Struggles for Freedom in the United States

Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton. She is the author of six books, most recently the…

Lauren Francis-Sharma | Book of the Little Axe

In conversation with Erica Armstrong Dunbar ,  award-winning author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge  and She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman. Lauren…

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio | The Undocumented Americans

In conversation with Andrea González-Ramírez, Senior Writer at  GEN  and an Ida B. Wells fellow at Type Investigations.  Read Ms. González-Ramírez's interview with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. Originally from Ecuador, Karla Cornejo…

Seanan McGuire | Middlegame and Imaginary Numbers

One of contemporary sci-fi/fantasy’s most popular writers, Seanan McGuire won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards for the Wayward Children series of books. Also the author of, among other books, the October Day series and the InCryptid…

Jennifer Steinhauer | The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

A reporter for the  New York Times  for 25 years, Jennifer Steinhauer has covered the United States Congress since 2010. Her former assignments include Los Angeles bureau chief and New York City Hall bureau chief. The winner of the…

Susan Choi | Trust Exercise with Jacqueline Woodson | Red at the Bone

Winner of the 2019 National Book Award for fiction, Trust Exercise follows a star-crossed suburban teen romance in a 1980s performing arts high school. Susan Choi ’s novels are known for excavating the hidden corners of the human heart…

David Wallace-Wells | The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

In conversation with Dr. Rachel Valletta, Environmental Scientist at The Franklin Institute and director of all climate change education and outreach programming. A columnist and deputy editor at  New York  magazine, David Wallace-Wells…

Samantha Irby | Wow, No Thank You.

In conversation with New Yorker writer Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion In her popular long-running blog,  bitches gotta eat , Samantha Irby offers raw, humorous takes on her sometimes difficult…

Frank B. Wilderson III | Afropessimism

Frank B. Wilderson III spent more than five years in South Africa, where he was one of two Americans elected to the African National Congress during the country’s transformation after apartheid. His books include  Incognegro: A Memoir of…

Judith Heumann | Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition A world-renowned leader in the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement, featured in the new film  Crip Camp , Judith Heumann has spent four decades…

David Fajgenbaum | Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope into Action

A professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and associate director of the university’s Orphan Disease Center, Dr. David Fajgenbaum holds an MBA from the Wharton School, earned a master of science at Oxford, and graduated…

Julia Alvarez | Afterlife

Named “Woman of the Year” by  Latina  magazine in 2000, poet, essayist, and fiction writer  Julia Alvarez  is renowned for her lyrical, poignant, politically insightful books, including  How the García Girls Lost Their Accents , which…

Katie Roiphe | The Power Notebooks

Feminist author and journalist Kate Roiphe is the author of In Praise of Messy Lives , a “daring, vivid, combative” ( Wall Street Journal ) collection of essays that explores everything from Joan Didion to Mad Men. Her other books…

African American History

In celebration of Black History Month and African American History as a whole, explore our resources on African American history and culture including famous African Americans From Philadelphia, Poets and Poetry, Speculative Fiction,…

American Presidency Series

Join the Free Library for a series of compelling provocative programs that examine the untold stories of, unconventional approaches to, and contemporary concerns about the world's most difficult job. The 2016 American Presidency Series…

Anime and Manga

Anime is an animation style originated in Japan that is characterized by distinctive characters and backgrounds. Storylines may include a variety of fictional or historical characters, events, and settings. Manga is Japanese for "comics"…

Asian Americans

Asian American resources for teens, cultural traditions and celebrations, biographies on famous Asian Americans, history of different Asian ethnic groups in America, lesson plans for teachers to explore a variety of Asian cultures, Asian…

Back to School

The start of another school year is underway here in Philadelphia! Get ready for school with these helpful resources for students, teachers, parents, and caregivers to help make the school year easier. Learn new study skills,…

Bestsellers

Find out about the latest bestsellers from many well known resources.

Black Lives Matter

The #BlackLivesMatter movement began in 2013 after a jury acquitted the armed civilian who murdered seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. Though activists and organizers have resisted the long history of police and state-sanctioned…

Cutting Clutter

Are you constantly trying to find papers you placed down on your desk? Is your closet overflowing with junk? Are you drowning in clutter and don't know where to begin to cleanup? Take charge with these books and resources on clutter,…

Digital Media Guide

Borrowing ebooks and audiobooks, downloading podcasts, and streaming media such as movies, music, and even comic books, from Free Library has never been easier. In this guide, we'll offer tips and information to get you started or…

Fantastic Planets

The void that exists between celestial bodies is vast. How many rings does Saturn have? Where did galaxies come from? What is Dark Matter? How do astronauts travel through space? Where does science fiction end and science fact begin?…

Fix It Yourself

Resources on how to do your own repairs on everyday items: Grab the scissors for sewing projects, drapery, upholstery, or even a haircut! View a list of do it yourself videos and tackle some of those household chores on your to-do list!…

Freedom Train

From July 1st through November 1st, the Rosenbach will feature Freedom Train 1947-1949, an exhibition on the history of the Freedom Train that toured the continuous 48 states in the post-war years. The topics of freedom, liberty, and…

Genealogy

This series of guides, web links, book lists, and resources will introduce you to the genealogical resources available through the Free Library of Philadelphia and to other important libraries and archives throughout the Philadelphia…

Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are, simply defined, book-length comics. Sometimes they tell a single, continous narrative from first page to last; sometimes they are collections of shorter stories or individual comic strips. Comics are sequential visual…

Green Living

Green living allows you to become an everyday environmentalist. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet. Go green with these…

Grimm

Explore the world of the Brothers Grimm and their legendary tales.

Halloween

Hello boils and ghouls! It's that time of year again—Halloween! We've concocted a creepy cross section of spooky stories from our chilling collections of boo-ks, mad monsters in macabre movies, and scary soundtracks, as well as links to…

Health

What are your health questions? The Free Library can connect you with resources to help you live a healthier lifestyle, including research tools, cooking classes, resources to help you quit smoking or increase your exercise, and…

Health Literacy Month

October is Health Literacy Month, a month dedicated to promoting the importance of understandable health information. The month was first honored as an annual worldwide event in 1999 and continues to be an important initiative in…

Healthy Communities

Healthy Communities, a partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention , increases the library’s capacity to offer free, accessible cooking, physical activity, gardening…

Honeybees

The third Saturday in August is National Honeybee Day, a day to celebrate this small but vital insect. Philadelphians should be especially proud; the modern beehive, known as the Langstroth hive, was invented in the City of Brotherly…

Jerry Pinkney

Philadelphia born and raised, Jerry Pinkney is one of the most beloved artists in children’s literature, illustrating more than 100 books that have delighted children—and adults—for generations. This year, as the American Library…

LGBTQ

The Free Library of Philadelphia celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June with book and film recommendations, events for all ages, and resources in Philadelphia. Through this Explore Topic, you can also find lesbian, gay, bisexual,…

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important voice of the American civil rights movement, which worked for equal rights for all. He was famous for using nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice, and he never got tired of trying to…

Medieval Manuscripts

Are you interested in learning more about the history of people who lived in Europe between 500 and 1500 A.D.? Below you can find helpful information for your research or check out our Medieval Manuscript Digital Collection with over…

Philadelphia Cooks

Explore diverse cooking styles and cuisine throughout Philadelphia, read cookbooks by renowned Philly chefs, learn about the latest nutritional values and advancements, search or browse through The Philadelphia Inquirer's restaurant and…

Poetry

Poetry in all its forms including classic selections from our Literature Department, Haikus, poetry for children, and poetry with special appeal for tweens and teens. Read poets from diverse cultures and in other languages, as well as…

Remembering September 11th

On September 11th, 2001, the world changed. For those of us who experienced it as a current event, life can be divided between a before and after, and we can clearly remember where we were when the news first reached us. For those not…

Returning Citizens

Resources for returning citizens in the transition from incarceration to society including information on job training, housing assistance, and counseling services. One such resource is Bridges, which offers returning citizens from jails…

Season's Greetings

It's that time of year again, full of many diverse holiday celebrations including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, and New Year's. This Explore Topic features lists of great books, music, and movies to share and learn…

Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, born in 1564, was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Poet Ben Johnson wrote “He was not of an age but for all…

STEM

An acronym referring to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields of study. The term was created for schools from kindergarten through college to improve competitiveness in learning and workforce development. "Science"…

Talking About Consent

As librarians, we are frequently asked to offer advice about resources that help explain current events to young children. When a disturbing story appears in the news, parents and caregivers may struggle to find age-appropriate…

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November throughout the United States. It originated as a harvest festival of giving thanks and although it has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions,…

The Olympics

The Olympic Games are the world's foremost sports competition, featuring thousands of athletes from around the world who participate in a variety of events. More than 200 nations participate every four years, alternating between the…

U.S. Elections and Politics

The United States presidential election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. In addition to candidates for U.S. president and vice president, the Pennsylvania ballot includes candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, the PA…