Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library

Thursday, July 15 – Message from Staff

Starting Monday, September 13, our hours will be changing!

Coleman Regional Library will be open for limited in-person services Mondays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Fridays from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Visitors may browse, checkout, use our computers and pick-up holds. 

Our computers will be available, on a limited basis, for any card holder.  We will be practicing physical distancing, which will both limit the number of people that will be able to use the computers and the length of turns.  At this time, we will not be able to offer one-on-one computer help.  

Materials Pickup: Please call to schedule appointments for front door pick-up during any of our opening hours. 

Our Book Drop is open 24/7.

And, staff are available to answer reference questions by phone.  You can reach the Children's department staff directly at 215-685-2152, and the Adult department at 215-685-2153. 

You can also catch up with us on Facebook at Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library and Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library Children's Department.  

Please remember that there is currently a Masking Mandate in Philadelphia and everyone needs to mask up-regardless of your vaccination status.  It's a good idea to continue to maintain physical distancing while in the library.

You can reach Peter Lehu, the branch manager, by email at lehup@freelibrary.org.  

68 West Chelten Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144-2795
Greene St. & Chelten Ave.
Closed Today
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 25 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Sat., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
View all holiday closings

Facilities

  • Baby changing station
  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Change machine
  • Children's only restroom
  • Computer lab
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking (free)
  • Street parking (metered)
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

Upcoming Events

Baby Storytime - Outdoors!

Tue, October 19, 2021 10:30 A.M.

Meet your children's librarians in Vernon Park for a storytime with your little one, newborn to 2 years old.  We'll share stories, songs, rhymes and bounces that will help your baby…

Preschool Storytime - Outdoors

Fri, October 22, 2021 10:30 A.M.

Meet your children's librarians in Vernon Park for storytime with your preschooler, ages 3 to 5 years old.  We'll have fun sharing stories, songs, and rhymes that will help your child…

Baby Storytime - Outdoors!

Tue, October 26, 2021 10:30 A.M.

Meet your children's librarians in Vernon Park for a storytime with your little one, newborn to 2 years old.  We'll share stories, songs, rhymes and bounces that will help your baby…

Preschool Storytime - Outdoors

Thu, October 28, 2021 10:30 A.M.

Meet your children's librarians in Vernon Park for storytime with your preschooler, ages 3 to 5 years old.  We'll have fun sharing stories, songs, and rhymes that will help your child…

About

Originally, the Germantown Branch Library, in 2002, the library was renamed in honor of Joseph E. Coleman, Philadelphia's first African-American City Council President. The library serves Northwest Philadelphia and features Regional Ricky, a life-size, reader-friendly dragon.

History

Germantown was founded in 1683, one year after William Penn founded Philadelphia. Many historic events occurred in Germantown, including the first public protest against slavery in English America (1688), and the Battle of Germantown (1777). Germantown Avenue, a block away from Coleman Northwest Regional Library, is an old Indian trail called Main Street by the first settlers.

In 1895, Germantown Branch Library opened in Vernon Hall at Chelten and Germantown Avenues. The library moved to Vernon House, known at the time as Wister Mansion, in 1898. Vernon House is currently located in the center of Vernon Park a half block north of Chelten Avenue between Germantown Avenue and Greene Street.

In 1907, a new Carnegie library building opened in Vernon Park. It served as the Germantown Branch Library until Tuesday, July 25, 1978, when the Northwest Regional Library officially opened to the public. Northwest was the third regional library in the Free Library system. In 1986, Center in the Park, an activity center for older adults, opened in the former Germantown Branch Library.

Northwest Regional Library was renovated in 1997 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which brought Internet service to every library. In 2002, the Northwest Regional Library was renamed the Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library. Coleman served City Council for 20 years, and he was for 12 years (1980-1992) the first African-American president of Philadelphia City Council. As a member of City Council, Mr. Coleman worked for the development of the Northwest Regional Library and its location at the corner of Chelten Avenue and Greene Street.

The Dragon Sculpture by Stewart Paul was originally installed in the children's department, but has since been moved to the lobby, where it overlooks the amphitheatre and the children's department. The mural of medieval knights and a variety of animals was painted by Richard Watson.