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 until 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

  • 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

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

Toddler Storytime

Tue, Oct 22, 10:30 A.M.

Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, music, movement, and lots of fun! For children 18 months through two years old and their caregivers. School,…

Edible Alphabet - Learning English Through Cooking!

Tue, Oct 22, 10:30 A.M.

Adults are invited to this FREE English class.  Each week we read, write, and speak in English--and cook a meal together! 10:30 a.m.…

Toddler Play Group

Tue, Oct 22, 11:00 A.M.

Creative Play for children ages 18 months through 2 years old and their caregivers!  Children's Department Story Hour Room. Free. No…

Video Games

Tue, Oct 22, 3:00 P.M.

Need a little Mario party in your life? How about some more Smash Bros? We have you covered here in the Field Teen Center every Tuesday and…

Kids Yoga

Tue, Oct 22, 4:00 P.M.

FREE! Mats are available, or bring your own.  This class will give kids a safe environment to play, explore and experience the wonderful…

14 Week Beginner Spanish Learning Circle

Tue, Oct 22, 6:00 P.M.

CLASS IS FULL.  TO JOIN THE WAITLIST, EMAIL ADULTLEARNING@FREELIBRARY.ORG This week, the location is TBD. Are you interested in learning…

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

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.