Widener Library

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

Open today until 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, 7/14 Closed
Monday, 7/15 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 7/16 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 7/17 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.*
Thursday, 7/18 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.*
Friday, 7/19 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.*
Saturday, 7/20 Closed
11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.*
  • * Wednesday had hour changes – This location has extended hours due to the Heat Health Emergency.
  • * Thursday had hour changes – This location has extended hours due to the Heat Health Emergency.
  • * Friday has hour changes – This location has extended hours due to the Heat Health Emergency.
  • * Saturday has hour changes – Extended hours due to the Heat Health Emergency.
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 Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Sun., Jul. 21 : Open 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM Extended hours due to the Heat Health Emergency.
  • Thu., Aug. 1 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Sep. 2 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 5 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Oct. 3 : 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

Kids Summer Movie Time!

Fri, Jul 19, 12:00 P.M.

Sit back and enjoy some old and new classics! Light snacks will be provided.

Toddler Storytime and Playgroup

Tue, Jul 23, 10:30 A.M.

Join us for songs, stories, and activities, with time to play with the library’s toys after!  For children aged four and younger. …

Crafternoons

Tue, Jul 23, 1:00 P.M.

Join us in creating fun crafts and doing art projects.

Kids' Chess Club

Wed, Jul 24, 2:00 P.M.

Learn or hone your chess skills with other kids!  Ages 7-12.

Garden Time with Miss Goda

Wed, Jul 24, 3:30 P.M.

Join us in making our library and neighborhood greener and more beautiful.  Ages 7-12.

Board Game Buddies

Thu, Jul 25, 3:00 P.M.

It's game time! All ages welcome to learn, play, and share! 

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?