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 6:00 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., Apr. 10 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Apr. 12 : Closed Easter
  • Mon., May. 25 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Sat., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 7 : Closed Labor 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

The Harlem Renaissance: A Centennial Celebration

Fri, Feb 28, 9:00 A.M.

A display of materials from the Art & Literature Department highlighting the work of artists involved in, or influenced by the great cultural…

Dress-Up Day: Formal Friday

Fri, Feb 28, 10:00 A.M.

All day on Friday, February 28! Walk the Parkway Central Library Children's Department "Read Carpet" and take selfies in your formal…

Music and Movement

Fri, Feb 28, 10:30 A.M.

Join us for songs, dance, and fun excploring rhythm and movement! Children ages 11 and under. Children ages 6 & under must be accompanied by a…

Video Games

Fri, Feb 28, 3:30 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…

Board Game Bonanza!

Fri, Feb 28, 4:00 P.M.

From Chutes and Ladders to Connect 4, from Bingo to Twister, play some games and make some friends!   Find us on…

Philly Slam League

Fri, Feb 28, 4:30 P.M.

The Free Library auditorium hosts the Philly Slam League, a weekly poetry slam competition for teen poets. All are welcome to attend the…

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.