Parkway Central Library

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway
Open today 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., May. 27 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Wed., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Thu., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 2 : Closed Labor Day
View all holiday closings

Facilities

  • Baby changing station
  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Change machine
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Scanner
  • Self-service checkout
  • Street parking
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

Upcoming Events

Preschool Storytime

Fri, April 12, 2024 10:30 A.M.

Join Ms. Scout for stories, songs, and rhymes, and stay for playtime afterwards! Intended for our friends ages 6 and under and their caregivers. In good weather, this program will…

Chair Yoga

Fri, April 12, 2024 1:00 P.M.

Join us for a 1-hour gentle yoga practice that uses a chair for seating and balance. Taught by Janet McAllister Faulls, a registered yoga teacher with over 12 years of experience in…

Philadelphia Baseball: Headlines from History

Fri, April 12, 2024 1:00 P.M.

Join us for a showcase of our microfilm coverage of Philadelphia baseball history, with stories about the Phillies, the Athletics, the Stars, and the Hilldale Club. Read about the 1950 Phillies…

Philadelphia Baseball: Headlines from History

Fri, April 12, 2024 1:00 P.M.

Join us for a showcase of our microfilm coverage of Philadelphia baseball history, with stories about the Phillies, the Athletics, the Stars, and the Hilldale Club. Read about the 1950 Phillies…

Free Tours

Parkway Central Library Tours

One Hour Tour   All Ages Welcome
Exterior of Parkway Central Library
Historic Building Tour
  • Monday and Tuesday 10:00 a.m.
  •  Wednesday and Thursday 2:00 p.m.
Please meet in the main First Floor lobby.
Explore the grand Beaux-Arts building of Parkway Central Library, an important part of Philadelphia's past and present that opened in 1927 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The specialized tour showcases unique architecture and history, while covering the many collections and services that make the Free Library such a valuable and critical resource.
No reservations are required. However groups of 10 or more are encouraged to submit a Group Tour Request.
Group Tour Request
Rare Book Tour
  • Monday – Saturday 11:00 a.m.
Please meet in the Third Floor lobby of the Rare Book Department.
View historical artifacts like 5,000-year-old tablets, Medieval manuscripts, the raven that inspired Poe's famous poem.
No reservations are required.

Departments

About


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

Video Tour through Parkway Central [background blog post with embedded videos]


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.