Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library

Services and hours are subject to change — please call in advance.

125 South 52nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139-3408
West Phila. Regional 52nd & Sansom Sts.
Open today 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, 5/15 Closed
Monday, 5/16 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 5/17 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 5/18 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, 5/19 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 5/20 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 5/21 Closed
12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
  • * Saturday has hour changes – This library is a Cooling Center today and tomorrow.
Sunday Closed
Monday 2:00 p.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 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., May. 26 : Opening at 2:00 PM due to staff development
  • Mon., May. 30 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Sun., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Mon., Jun. 20 : Closed Juneteenth (Observed)
View all holiday closings


  • 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

Outdoor Preschool Storytime

Mon, May 23, 2022 11:00 A.M.

Join us at Malcolm X Park (5100 Pine Street) for preschool storytime! Enjoy stories, songs, and fun! This program is intended for ages 2 to 5 and their caregivers. Siblings are welcome.…

CareerLink Job Searching

Wed, May 25, 2022 2:00 P.M.

Get help with your resume, job search, interviewing, online applications and more! Service provided by CareerLink from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free! No registration required.

Collage and Storytime: Alma and How She Got Her Name

Thu, May 26, 2022 4:00 P.M.

Children and their caregivers are invite to join the Lucien Blackwell Library at Malcom X Park for a read-aloud of the  One Book, One Philadelphia  2022 children’s selection,…

Draw a Pokémon

Tue, May 31, 2022 4:00 P.M.

Come to the library to learn how to draw some Pokémon with step-by-step instructions! If you play Pokémon Go, stick around afterwards for Spotlight Hour featuring Magikarp.


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.


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.