Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library

Services and hours are subject to change — please call in advance. Before you visit, please review our new COVID-19 guidelines.

Saturday, April 3 – Message from Staff

Blackwell Library is open for very limited in person services on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. 

We continue to offer Material Holds Pick Up! To reserve books, music & movies, search the online catalogbrowse Blackwell’s collection online, or give us a call: 215-685-7431. When your items arrive, you can schedule an appointment to pick up materials on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or stop by when we are open.

The Book Drop is OPEN 24/7 to return library materials. Please note that all items will be first quarantined for 7 days, and will therefore not be immediately checked in.

For updates, follow us on social media for updates or call 1-833-TALK FLP (825-5357)

https://www.facebook.com/Blackwell.Teen/ 
https://www.facebook.com/Blackwell.children 
https://www.instagram.com/freelibraryofwestphilly/

125 South 52nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139-3408
West Phila. Regional 52nd & Sansom Sts.
Open today 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday By Appointment
Wednesday 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday By Appointment
Friday 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., May. 31 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Sat., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Sun., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Jul. 5 : Closed Independence Day (Observed)
View all holiday closings

Facilities

  • Street parking
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Change machine
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Scanner
  • Self-service checkout
  • Stella Lighting
  • Street parking (free)
  • Street parking (metered)
  • Water fountain
  • ZoomText Keyboard & Special Key Features

Upcoming Events

Philly Hot Jobs

Wed, April 21, 2021 2:00 P.M.

Tierre Graves, Digital Resource Specialist, presents Philly Hot Jobs .  To watch anytime, click here .    

Will Grammy Remember Me?

Thu, April 29, 2021 4:00 P.M.

Join us for a family friendly program presented by local author, J Elizabeth, and educators from The Penn Memory Center. Learn about Alzheimer's disease and Dementia through interactive activities, discussion, and read alouds. Participants will receive a packet of interactive materials.…

About

Located two blocks south of the 52nd Street El station in the heart of West Philadelphia, this regional library was renamed in 2004. The library serves the communities of Cedar Park, Walnut Hill, West Market, Mill Creek, Dunlap, and West Park.

History

In 1677, William Warner purchased land from the local Native Americans and settled in the vicinity of 45th Street and Westminster Streets. He named the area Blockley after his home parish in England. Blockley became one of thirteen original townships in the city.

In 1840, the Borough of West Philadelphia was incorporated and later upgraded to the West Philadelphia District. By 1866, the Chestnut Street Bridge opened and railroad cars drawn by horses brought passengers as far as the corner of 41st and Chestnut Streets. It was not until 1904 that the line was extended to 45th Street and later to 61st Street. By 1904, Chestnut was paved as far as 46th Street, and further on it was a dirt road. Cornfields grew beyond present-day 53rd Street.

After the Market Street Elevated train opened in 1907, West Philadelphia rapidly urbanized and was significantly developed by World War II. Paul Robeson, world-renowned African American singer and actor, lived his retirement years on Walnut Street near 50th Street, a few blocks from the library.

The West Philadelphia Regional Library opened on October 21, 1976 - the second regional library in the city, providing West Philadelphia with a larger collection of books, magazines and newspapers than neighborhood branches. Designed by architect William Mann, the library was built on the site of the Rivoli Theatre.

The library was renovated in 1998 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library. The building was renamed the Lucien E. Blackwell/West Philadelphia Regional library in 2004 after Lucien Blackwell, a former congressman, city council member, state legislator and local activist who died in 2003.

The library is located on 52nd Street, the major commercial and shopping district of West Philadelphia. When you visit, look in the adult room for the large, colorful mural by George Beach, entitled Knowledge.