Widener Library

2808 West Lehigh Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19132-3296
(28th & Lehigh Ave.)
215-685-9799

Open today 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Tue., Dec. 24 : Open 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM preparation for holidays
  • Wed., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Tue., Dec. 31 : Open 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM preparation for holidays
  • Wed., Jan. 1 : Closed New Year's Day
  • Thu., Jan. 2 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
View all holiday closings

Photo of Widener Library

Facilities

  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Parking lot
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

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Upcoming Events

Holiday Pound for LBS

Tue, Dec 17, 3:30 P.M.

Let's trade in those holiday gains for GAINS!  Parcipate in strength training exercises by using resistance bands. Class will last 40…

Preschool Storytime

Thu, Dec 19, 10:30 A.M.

Children ages 2-5 and their families are invited to join Miss Tiffany for preschool storytime. 

Preschool Storytime

Thu, Jan 9, 10:30 A.M.

Children ages 2-5 and their families are invited to join Miss Tiffany for preschool storytime. 

Preschool Storytime

Thu, Jan 16, 10:30 A.M.

Children ages 2-5 and their families are invited to join Miss Tiffany for preschool storytime. 

New Year... New Goals

Wed, Jan 22, 3:30 P.M.

Let's start our new year resolutions strong by learning how to get started on your fitness journey.  Our Certified Trainer, and her…

Preschool Storytime

Thu, Jan 23, 10:30 A.M.

Children ages 2-5 and their families are invited to join Miss Tiffany for preschool storytime. 

View all events

About

Recently moved into a brand-new glass-fronted building, the Widener Branch serves the communities of North Central Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, and Allegheny West. The branch has an African Plains theme. Come in and try to find the hidden elephants and giraffes!

History

In 1807, Penn Township was formed from the western portion of the Township of Northern Liberties. The area surrounding Widener Branch was usually called North Penn. In the mid 19th Century, the neighborhood was known as Swampoodle. The area developed after trolleys became electrified in 1892 and is now known as Strawberry Mansion/Allegheny West.

In 1900, the H. Josephine Widener Branch of the Free Library was opened in the Widener Mansion at Broad and Girard, a gift of Peter A.B. Widener in memory of his wife. In 1946, the Widener mansion was sold. The proceeds were used to buy and remodel a former bank building at 2531 W. Lehigh Avenue.

Designed by architects Buell, Kratzer and Powell, the current building opened on January 31, 2005. The library is based on the theme of the African Plains, with four special areas for youths: Preschool Plains, School-Age Savanna, Pre-Teen Plateau, and Teen Terrain. Abstract elephants and giraffes are hidden in the design of the library. Can you find them?