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Your Vote, Your Voice at the Free Library

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the United States has an upcoming election . Have you ever wondered how the election system works here in Philadelphia? You can learn about it at one of three upcoming programs…

Library Department Highlights: Field Teen Center

Since Parkway Central Library opened in 1927, patrons have had free and open access to its rich and unique collections, expanding services, and professionally trained and welcoming staff. The robust programs and collections available…

Cooling Centers Open at Select Libraries from July 15–17, 2024

Residents can get out of the heat and into an air-conditioned space at a neighborhood library with access to books, computers, wireless internet, and other Free Library amenities. The following neighborhood library…

Short Story Book Club Coming to Parkway Central Library

Introducing a new book club at the Parkway Central Library  — on the second Monday of each month, the Short Story Book Club will meet from 6:00–7:30 p.m. in Philbrick Hall  to discuss collections of short-form…

Summer of Wonder: 3 Ways to Get Kids Reading This Summer

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Summer of Wonder program is a reading challenge for all ages that allows participants to attend fun Free Library events, find new books to read, and explore activities to stay engaged throughout…

BE/LONGING: The New Community-Building Art Exhibit

Now through Tuesday, October 1, Parkway Central Library is hosting an exhibition to showcase collaborative new artwork, BE/LONGING . Visitors can examine art created by workshop participants throughout the city expressing what…

Languages and Learning Volunteer Lunch

In Languages and Learning , the adult education department of the Free Library, a number of our programs couldn’t run without the hard work of our dedicated volunteers — so we decided to thank them! On Monday, June…

New Titles Coming to the Free Library in July

There is something for everyone in these new titles coming to the Free Library in July!   Young Children (up to 2nd Grade) How To Eat A Mango by Paola Santos; illustrated by Juliana Perdomo Carmencita doesn’t want to help…

From Sloths to Sleuths: The Academy of Natural Sciences Free Pass Program!

The Academy of Natural Sciences and the Free Library of Philadelphia are old friends. For over 100 years, they have lived across from each other on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, educating and entertaining Philadelphians. In…

Take The Stage: Professional Development Day

Small businesses and career professionals are invited to a Professional Development Day with the Free Library's Business Resource and Innovation Center . Join us on June 27, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. for the event hosted by…

Cooling Centers Open at Select Libraries from June 20–23, 2024

Residents can get out of the heat and into an air-conditioned space at a neighborhood library with access to books, computers, wireless internet, and other Free Library amenities. The following neighborhood library…

Collection Spotlight: Exploring Queer Histories

In celebration of Pride Month , the Free Library’s Social Science and History Department is displaying books from the collection that give an overview of the study of queer history. LGBTQ+ people have always existed and will…

Updated Hours of Service at the Free Library

Throughout the Summer of 2024, select Free Library locations will remain open on Saturdays starting July 6, 2024. The following neighborhood branches will be open on Saturdays this summer from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m: Cecil B. Moore…

Queer Signals: Symbolizing the Self

An act of creativity can be a freeing way to express myriad emotions surrounding our identities, and as such, they are a great way to celebrate Pride Month. Throughout June, the Free Library offers various  creative workshops…

Free Library Board of Trustees Public Meeting on June 20 at 4:00 p.m.

The Free Library Board of Trustees will be holding its last meeting of FY24 on Thursday, June 20, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in person in rooms 405/406/407 at Parkway Central Library : 1901 Vine Street,…

Book Release and Author Visit: Jennifer C. Berkshire and The Education Wars

School may be out, but the future of public education is still in session. Pennsylvania courts recently deemed the state’s underfunding of public schools unconstitutional . The State House is poised to consider an education…

Black and Queer in Philadelphia: A Conversation

On Wednesday, June 26, at 6:00 p.m. , the Newspapers and Microfilm Center is proud to present Black and Queer in Philadelphia  — a program with Gary Hines in conversation with James Charles Roberts and Sappho Reynan…

Check Out A Banned Book From Our Little Free(dom) Libraries

In partnership with Visit Philadelphia  and Little Free Library , the Little Free(dom) Library initiative encourages residents and visitors of Philadelphia to pick up a free banned book at one of many locations throughout the…

Beyond Books: Celebrating Music at the Free Library

June is African American Music Appreciation Month and a celebration of “African American musical influences that comprise an essential part of our nation’s treasured cultural heritage,” according to the Smithsonian…

Exercising With Baby: Babies Need Exercise, Too!

Hey there, new parents and caregivers! It's time to get those little bundles of joy moving and grooving — babies need exercise too! Picture this: your adorable baby, exploring the world with those tiny hands and…

Pajama Storytime!

Wear your coziest pajamas and bring your favorite stuffed animal to this evening storytime.  We'll read books and sing songs and rhymes in the Story Hour Room. This event is recommended for children 8 and under and their…

Monthly Book Club

Join us to discuss books and life and eat snacks!   This book club is ideal for fourth through sixth graders. Copies of each book will be available to check out at the reference desk.

Pajama Storytime!

Wear your coziest pajamas and bring your favorite stuffed animal to this evening storytime.  We'll read books and sing songs and rhymes in the Story Hour Room. This event is recommended for children 8 and under and their…

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Monthly Book Club

Join us to discuss books and life and eat snacks!   This book club is ideal for fourth through sixth graders. Copies of each book will be available to check out at the reference desk.

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Pajama Storytime!

Wear your coziest pajamas and bring your favorite stuffed animal to this evening storytime.  We'll read books and sing songs and rhymes in the Story Hour Room. This event is recommended for children 8 and under and their…

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Monthly Book Club

Join us to discuss books and life and eat snacks!   This book club is ideal for fourth through sixth graders. Copies of each book will be available to check out at the reference desk.

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Pajama Storytime!

Wear your coziest pajamas and bring your favorite stuffed animal to this evening storytime.  We'll read books and sing songs and rhymes in the Story Hour Room. This event is recommended for children 8 and under and their…

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Monthly Book Club

Join us to discuss books and life and eat snacks!   This book club is ideal for fourth through sixth graders. Copies of each book will be available to check out at the reference desk.

Baby and Toddler Playtime!

Play, talk, sing and explore books and toys while listening to music and gaining social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills. This program is intended for babies and toddlers along with parents, grandparents or caregivers. We will be…

Pajama Storytime!

Wear your coziest pajamas and bring your favorite stuffed animal to this evening storytime.  We'll read books and sing songs and rhymes in the Story Hour Room. This event is recommended for children 8 and under and their…

Local photographers

Photographers from or active in the Philadelphia area

Art display: Chuck Schultz

Works by Chuck Schultz are on display in the historic announcement stands in the Art Department. Part of an ongoing series highlighting work by artists who make use of our space as a free artist studio and library resources for…

Fake Dating (Teen!)

When a simple romance just won't do, make it complicated with a fake relationship full of real feelings!

Fashion

A few selections on fashion topics from the Art Department for the July 2024 edition of Art Book Club. Browse these sections in the department for much, much more: 391 – Costume history, 746 – Fashion Design, 741.672 – Fashion…

Disability Pride Month for Teens 2024

Did you know 1 in 4 Americans has at least one disability? Disability Pride has been celebrated in July since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Explore the spectrum of disability experience…

St. Cecilia's Summer Reading

https://scsfoxchase.org/summer-reading-2024-2025

Juneteenth: Engage With History

Celebrate Juneteenth with a selection of powerful reads that honor the struggles and triumphs of Black Americans throughout history. These books serve as poignant reminders of the journey towards emancipation and the ongoing pursuit of…

2023 Shirley Jackson Awards Nominees

In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror,…

LGBTQ+ Superheroes and Antiheroes!

Happy Pride! Here's a list of LGBTQ+ identified superheroes and antiheroes from DC and Marvel Comics!

The Voices of Sisterly Affection Exhibition

Created for the nonprofit Stories In My Backyard (SIMBY) by its founder Kyra Williams, SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection is an immersive traveling photo exhibit that honors Philly's Black music herstory: Billie Holiday,…

Caribbean Heritage Month 2024!

June is Caribbean Heritage Month! Let's celebrate with teen books written by amazing authors from the Caribbean.

Want to Read

Books I want to read when there is time

Board Books All About Summer

As the days get longer and we all start to dream about trips to the shore and picnics in the park, take a break from the heat and introduce your baby to the sights, sounds, and experiences of the summer season!

Ed Wilcox

Books selected by local artist Ed Wilcox in conjunction with his May 2024 display: https://libwww.freelibrary.org/calendar/event/137122

LGBTQ+ Imaginative Fiction

Imagine new experiences in speculative futures and magical worlds when you check out these recommended science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, and supernatural titles.

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. 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

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.

Daniel Schlozman and Sam Rosenfeld | The Hollow Parties: The Many Pasts and Disordered Present of American Party Politics

In conversation with author and Pennsylvania State Senator, Nikil Saval In The Hollow Parties , Daniel Schlozman and Sam Rosenfeld present a comprehensive history of the rise of American mass party politics through the Jacksonian era up…

George Stephanopoulos | The Situation Room: The Inside Story of Presidents in Crisis

Meelya Gordon Memorial Lecture In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6abc Action News morning edition. ABC News’ Chief Anchor, the host of  This Week with George Stephanopoulos , and co-anchor of  Good Morning America ,  George…

Paul Hendrickson | Fighting the Night: Iwo Jima, WW II and a Flyer’s Life

In conversation with Wil Haygood Paul Hendrickson ’s books include  Sons of Mississippi , winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award;  Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934–1961 , a National Book Critics…

Claire Messud | This Strange Eventful History: A Novel

In conversation with Laura McGrath, Assistant Professor of English at Temple University “Among our greatest contemporary writers” ( The Miami Herald ),  Claire Messud  is the author of  The Emperor’s Children , a cutting portrait of…

Colm Tóibín | Long Island: A Novel

“His generation’s most gifted writer of love’s complicated, contradictory power” (Los Angeles Times) ,  Colm Tóibín  is the author of an impressive list of novels, short stories, essays, plays, poetry, and criticism. His novels  The…

Jen Psaki | Say More: Lessons from Work, the White House, and the World

In conversation with Annie Duke An “unflappable and genial point-person” ( The New York Times ),  Jen Psaki  served as the thirty-fourth White House Press Secretary under President Biden until May 2022. Currently the host of MSNBC’s…

Frank Bruni | The Age of Grievance

In conversation with Karen Heller, former national features writer and current contributor for The Washington Post, formerly a metro and features columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in…

Erik Larson | The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War

In conversation with award winning broadcaster and journalist, Tracey Matisak. “America’s most compelling popular historian” (The Christian Science Monitor) ,  Erik Larson  is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed books,…

Karen Valby | The Swans of Harlem: Five Black Ballerinas, Fifty Years of Sisterhood, and Their Reclamation of a Groundbreaking History

Featuring: Lydia Abarça, Sheila Rohan, Marcia Sells, Karlya Shelton, and Khadija Tariyan (daughter of Gayle McKinney Griffith) In conversation with Shelly Power, The Dr. Carolyn Newsom Executive Director, Philadelphia Ballet Karen Valby…

Dasha Kiper | Travelers to Unimaginable Lands: Stories of Dementia, the Caregivers, and the Human Brain

In conversation with Dr. Jason Karlawish In partnership with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society The clinical consulting director of support groups at The CaringKind (formerly The Alzheimer's Association),  Dasha Kiper  has an MA in…

Amy Tan | The Backyard Bird Chronicles

In conversation with Beth Kephart A “master of illusion, and one of the best storytellers around” (NPR),  Amy Tan  is the author of the beloved novels  The Joy Luck Club , a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book…

Bakari Sellers | The Moment: Thoughts on the Race Reckoning That Wasn't and How We All Can Move Forward Now

In 2006,  Bakari Sellers  defeated a twenty-six-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. The state’s 2014…

David E. Sanger | New Cold Wars: China's Rise, Russia's Invasion, and America's Struggle to Defend the West

In conversation with Robert E. Hamilton, Head of Eurasia Research - Eurasia Program, Foreign Policy Research Institute Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Endowed Lecture The White House and national security correspondent for  The New York…

R. Jisung Park | Slow Burn: The Hidden Costs of a Warming World

In conversation with Patrick Behrer, Research Economist, Development Economics, World Bank How the subtle but significant consequences of a hotter planet have already begun—from lower test scores to higher crime rates—and how we might…

Dennis Yi Tenen | Literary Theory for Robots: How Computers Learned to Write

Dennis Yi Tenen  is an associate professor of English at Columbia University, where he also serves as co-director of the Center for Comparative Media. Affiliated with Columbia’s Data Science Institute, he is a former fellow at the…

Tricia Rose | Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives—and How We Break Free

In conversation with award-winning journalist and broadcaster Tracey Matisak Acclaimed for her study of the intersections of pop music, contemporary Black U.S. culture, and sex and gender, sociologist  Tricia Rose  is the author of…

Lydia Millet | We Loved it All: A Memory of Life

Praised for her “darkly funny and painfully sharp” ( Los Angeles Times ) fiction, Lydia Millet is the author of the novel  A Children’s Bible , shortlisted for the National Book Award and a  New York Times  Top 10 book of 2020; the…

Stacey Abrams | Rogue Justice: A Thriller

In conversation with award-winning journalist and broadcaster, Tracey Matisak Introduced by State Rep. Donna Bullock Stacey Abrams  is the Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics at Howard University. After serving…

Julia Alvarez | The Cemetery of Untold Stories: A Novel

Barbara Gohn Day Memorial Lecture In conversation with Rebeca L. Hey-Colón, Professor of Latinx Studies, Temple University Awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2013, poet, essayist, and fiction writer Julia Alvarez…

Sloane Crosley | Grief is for People

“A fountain of observations” ( The Boston Globe ),  Sloane Crosley  is the author of three  New York Times  bestselling essay collections,  How Did You Get This Number, Look Alive Out There, and  I Was Told There’d Be Cake , which was a…

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

In Japanese, the word "anime" simply refers to all animation. Outside of Japan, the term "anime" refers specifically to Japanese animation. Anime comes in a wide variety of genres and encompasses both film and television animation. It…

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…

Black History Month

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,…

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…

Computer Skills

Do you feel comfortable using a computer or navigating the Internet? The links and resources below may be able to help you get started. Learn basic computer skills and tablet skills. Find easy instructions on surfing the Internet. Build…

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…

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!…

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.

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…

Job Seekers

The Free Library supports job seekers within the Business Resource & Innovation Center (BRIC). We provide current information and resources on changing careers, job searching techniques, and emerging employment fields to help career…

LGBTQ

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

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…

Personal Finance

The Free Library supports the economic well-being and financial interests of patrons. We provide current information and resources on a variety of topics such as budgeting, homeownership, credit repair, and investing. Through the explore…

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…

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…

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"…

Voting and Elections

Discover information on voter registration, elections, and the different ways to cast your ballot in Pennsylvania. You'll also find comprehensive guides on understanding your rights as a voter, tips for researching candidates and issues,…