Parkway Central Library

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway
Open today 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 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 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Sep. 2 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 14 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Mon., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 28 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
View all holiday closings


  • 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
  • Screen magnify tools
  • Self-service checkout
  • Street parking (metered)
  • Street parking
  • Study rooms
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

Upcoming Events

Read Baby Read: Baby & Toddler Storytime!

Mon, July 22, 2024 10:30 A.M.

Join Miss Mary for stories, songs, rhymes, and bounces! Stay for playtime immediately following storytime! Intended for our friends ages 2 and under and their caregivers. Nice weather? We'll…

Computer Skills for Beginners

Mon, July 22, 2024 11:00 A.M.

Need computer help? Take a free digital skills workshop at the Library! Learn how to use a computer, get online, and more. Training provided by Beyond Literacy, please arrive by the indicated…

English Conversation Group - Intermediate+

Mon, July 22, 2024 11:00 A.M.

Build your confidence in speaking English while meeting other adults in a casual learning environment. No registration is required. This group is for intermediate/advanced English speakers and is…

Financial Help and Credit Repair Chat

Mon, July 22, 2024 2:00 P.M.

Join Sherry Hoban, Executive Director of the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project (CBAP), for one-on-one financial help. Topics range from debt management to accessing annual credit reports.…

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 – Friday 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.



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.