Parkway Central Library

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
215-686-5322
Library Tour Information
Departments

Open today 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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

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

Photo of Parkway Central Library

Facilities

  • 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)

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Upcoming Events

Pathway Forward: G.E.D Preparation Class

Sun, Nov 17, 1:00 P.M.

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

Movie Double Feature

Sun, Nov 17, 1:00 P.M.

Come watch these essential movies each Sunday in the Field Teen Center! Program for teens ages 12-18. Contact TeenCenter@freelibrary.org or…

Waging Peace in Vietnam: U.S. Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed the War

Sun, Nov 17, 2:00 P.M.

The robust anti-war movement in Vietnam has a history that is largely unknown.  Join Don Carver, co-editor of "Waging Peace in Vietnam:…

Baby Storytime

Mon, Nov 18, 10:30 A.M.

Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, music, movement, and lots of fun! Storytime will be followed by a half hour playgroup.  For children birth…

Arabic/English Language and Cultural Exchange

Mon, Nov 18, 10:30 A.M.

Interested in learning Arabic and helping Arabic speakers practice English? Come join our free cultural connections group, where we will explore…

Baby Play Group

Mon, Nov 18, 11:00 A.M.

Creative Play for children birth to 18 months old and their caregivers!  Children's Department Story Hour Room. Free. No…

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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

Departments

About


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.