Parkway Central Library

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

Open today until 9:00 p.m.

Sunday, 5/31 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday, 6/1 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 6/2 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 6/3 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, 6/4 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, 6/5 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 6/6 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Sunday has hour changes – Closed to the public.
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

  • Sat., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 7 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 12 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Wed., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 26 : Closed Thanksgiving 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

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Upcoming Events

Virtual Baby Storytime with Miss Mary

Mon, Jun 1, 10:30 A.M.

Join Miss Mary for Baby Storytime on Facebook live (ParkwayCentralChildrens) Mondays at 10:30 am! Enjoy stories, songs, and fun!…

Virtual Yoga for Children with Ms. Danielle

Mon, Jun 1, 3:00 P.M.

Virtual yoga class on Facebook Live ( /) for kids, offering a safe environment to play, explore and…

CANCELLED - French Language Learning Circle

Mon, Jun 1, 6:30 P.M.

Are you interested in learning French? Have you ever started an online course only to lose motivation a few sessions in and never finish? Do you…

Virtual Storytime with Ms. Becky on Instagram Live

Tue, Jun 2, 10:30 A.M.

Live virtual Storytime with Ms. Becky! Stories, songs, rhymes, music, movement and lots of fun for children age 2-7. This Storytime program has a…

CANCELLED - Teen Center House Cup Monthly Party For May Winners!

Tue, Jun 2, 4:00 P.M.

Our monthly celebration of the house that got the most points the previous month! Stay tuned to see if your house won! Program for teens ages…

Virtual Story Club with Ms Scout

Tue, Jun 2, 4:00 P.M.

Stories and imagination are a great way to escape where you are. Join Ms Scout on Tuesdays at 10:30 am for a Story Club prompt and then check back…

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.