Parkway Central Library

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

Open today 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 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

  • Fri., Nov. 11: Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 24: Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Sun., Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day
  • Mon., Dec. 26: Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
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Upcoming Events

Preschool Storytime with Miss Leigh!

Tue, Oct 25, 11:00 A.M.

Stories, songs and movement activities for children ages 2 - 5 and their caregivers.  Younger siblings are always welcome.  Free; no…

Weekly Blood Pressure Screening

Tue, Oct 25, 11:00 A.M.

Stop by the lobby to get your blood pressure taken and learn why it is important to manage your blood pressure. Information on how to manage your…

Tuesday Mindfulness Meditation

Tue, Oct 25, 12:00 P.M.

Join us for meditation sessions designed to reduce stress and enhance well-being. Learn to focus your attention on the body by practicing relaxed…

E-Gadget Help Desk

Tue, Oct 25, 3:00 P.M.

Bring your smart phones, tablets, e-readers and laptops to the e-gadget help desk every Tuesday and Thursday. A gadget…

Chess for Kids

Tue, Oct 25, 4:00 P.M.

Learn to play, then challenge an opponent!  Meet in the Children's Department Story Hour Room, Tuesdays 4 to 5 p.m..  For more…

Jodi Picoult | Small Great Things

Tue, Oct 25, 7:30 P.M.

Cost: $15 General Admission, $7 Students
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EVENT COMPLETELY SOLD OUT In conversation with Laura Kovacs “With a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships”…

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Parkway Central Library Tours

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Building Tours:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
1st Sunday Tour - Sunday, June 5 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



Welcome to the cornerstone of the Free Library system. Opened in 1927, the Parkway Central Library contains more than 7 million items and many special collections. We hope to see you at our events throughout the year. While you are here, be sure to visit the H.O.M.E PAGE Café for a treat.

Featured Programs & Services

Public Transportation

Bus Routes:
2 (nbound) 16th & Spring Garden (south of Vine, North of Race) 16th & Hamilton (Comm. College of Phila.)
2 (sbound) 17th & Vine
7 (nbound) 22nd & Ben Franklin Pkwy
7 (sbound) 21st & Ben Franklin Pkwy
27 (nbound) 16th & Spring Garden
27 (ebound) Broad & Vine
32 (nbound) 20th & Vine
32 (sbound) 21st & Ben Franklin
33 (nbound) 20th & Vine
33 (sbound) 21st & Ben Franklin Pkwy

Get the 32, 33, and 76 busses at the NE corner of 15th and JFK Blvd. There are bus shelters at that corner with the route numbers on them. The stop is across the street from City Hall; in front of the Municipal Services Building; to the right across 15th street is JFK plaza, where the "LOVE" sculpture is located.

38 (ebound) 20th & the Pkwy
38 (wbound)21st & the Pkwy
43 (ebound) 19th & Spring Garden
43 (wbound) 19th & Spring Garden
48 (nbound) 22nd & the Pkwy
48 (sbound) 21st & the Pkwy

Subway-Surface Lines:

Broad Street Subway (orange) get off at the Race-Vine stop, and walk 5 blocks west. Subway-Surface (green) get off at the 15th street, catch the 32, 33, or 76 at 15th and JFK. Market-Frankford (blue) get off at 15th street, exit to 15th and Market, walk one block north to 15th and JFK to catch the 32, 33, or 76.