Parkway Central Library

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
Library Tour Information

Open today until 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, 10/13 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday, 10/14 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 10/15 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 10/16 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, 10/17 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, 10/18 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10/19 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Monday had hour changes – Columbus Day
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 28 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Wed., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
View all holiday closings

Photo of Parkway Central Library


  • Baby changing station
  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Children's only restroom
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Street parking
  • Pay phone
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Scanner
  • Screen magnify tools
  • Screen-reading software (JAWS)
  • Self-service checkout
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

Support Parkway Central Library

Donate Now

Upcoming Events

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Sat, Oct 19, 9:00 A.M.

Need to get out of the house on Saturday morning but have nothing to do? Come join us at the Field Teen Center for some early morning cartoon…

Pathway Forward: G.E.D Preparation Class

Sat, Oct 19, 10:00 A.M.

Join Pathway Forward and the Free Library of Philadelphia's Languages and Learning Center for FREE G.E.D. and Adult Basic Education…

Roots2Rise Fall Yoga Series

Sat, Oct 19, 10:00 A.M.

Join Roots2Rise for an eight week yoga series in the lobby of Parkway Central Library! You're invited to $5.00 yoga every…

SATurdays: SAT and College Prep Workshops for Teens

Sat, Oct 19, 12:00 P.M.

Join the Field Teen Center for a series of college prep and standardized testing workshops. We'll combine practice tests and…

Chess Club

Sat, Oct 19, 1:00 P.M.

Learn to play or improve your game! Chess Club meets every Saturday, 1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m. in the Story Hour Room. School-age children. No…

Live at the Library Volume 2!

Sat, Oct 19, 1:00 P.M.

Live at the Library Volume 2! hosted by Beyond the Bars and the Free Library of Philadelphia Back by popular demand! Join us for the second in a…

View all events

Parkway Central Library Tours

Photo of Parkway Central Library

Building Tours:

  • Monday – Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • 1st Sunday Tour at 2:00 p.m.

Rare Book Department Tours:

  • Monday – Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

Explore the grand Beaux-Arts building which is an important part of Philadelphia's past and present with this specialized tour of the Parkway Central Library, which opened on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in 1927. The free tour, which begins in the lobby, showcases Parkway Central's unique architecture and history, while covering the many collections and services that make the Free Library such a valuable and critical resource to Philadelphians. At the end of the tour, participants will be given the option to continue their experience by joining the free, daily tour of the Rare Book Department at 11:00 a.m., which explores the history of the book along with some of the Library's most rare holdings.

Group Tour Request



Parkway Central Library Welcomes You [A downloadable self-guided tour]

Designed by Julian Abele, a prominent African American architect from Philadelphia who worked in Horace Trumbauer’s firm, the Parkway Central Library first opened its doors on June 2, 1927. As an anchor cultural and educational institution on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, we welcome over 1 million visitors each year from the city, its countryside, and around the world. Our patrons come to learn from our public events, to consult our special collections, and to tap the expertise of our librarians and curators in each of the subject departments and special collections. On most days, volunteer docents offer architectural walks through the building.