Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library

68 West Chelten Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144-2795
(Greene St. & Chelten Ave.)

We are open today!  Stop in from Noon until 8:00 p.m.

Open today until 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 7/23 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday, 7/24 Closed
Tuesday, 7/25 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 7/26 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 7/27 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 7/28 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 7/29 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Sunday had hour changes – Due to HVAC Repairs
  • * Tuesday had hour changes – HVAC repair.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday Closed
Tuesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Aug. 17 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 21 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Oct. 9 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Thu., Oct. 19 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
View all holiday closings

Photo of Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library


  • 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)


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Upcoming Events

Open Computer Lab

Wed, Jul 26, 12:00 P.M.

Work on your own project in our computer lab.

Kid's Book Club

Wed, Jul 26, 2:00 P.M.

We'll meet and talk about some of the best new, diverse books for kids ages 8 to 11.  Contact the children's librarian to get your…

Teen Book Club

Wed, Jul 26, 4:00 P.M.

This summer we will talk about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time , by Mark Haddon.  We'll have a film screening on the last…

Spy Club

Thu, Jul 27, 2:00 A.M.

Sharpen your spy skills, and learn some mysterious and exciting new tricks! Daycares, Camps and other groups - please call to set up your own…


Fri, Jul 28, 2:00 A.M.

Explore some basic science concepts and ideas, along with hands-on, interactive experiments. Did we mention... fun? Daycares, Camps, and other…

Open Computer Lab

Sat, Jul 29, 12:00 P.M.

Work on your own project in our computer lab.

View all events


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.


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.