Widener Library

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

Open today 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
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 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Fri., Dec. 23: Closing at 3:00 PM preparation for the Christmas Day holiday
  • Sat., Dec. 24: Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
  • Sun., Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day
  • Mon., Dec. 26: Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
  • Fri., Dec. 30: Closing at 3:00 PM preparation for the New Year's Day holiday
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)

Location

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Nearby Branches

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Upcoming Events

Affordable Care Act: Open Enrollment Period 2016-17

Wed, Dec 7, 11:00 A.M.

Having trouble getting healthcare? The Free Library is here to help! You might qualify for new options, and now is the time to sign up! Open…

Sunday Literacy Program for 1st - 3rd Graders

Sun, Dec 11, 1:00 P.M.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to pilot a new Sunday Literacy program at five of our neighborhood libraries. This program offers…

Affordable Care Act: Open Enrollment Period 2016-17

Wed, Dec 14, 11:00 A.M.

Having trouble getting healthcare? The Free Library is here to help! You might qualify for new options, and now is the time to sign up! Open…

Sunday Literacy Program for 1st - 3rd Graders

Sun, Dec 18, 1:00 P.M.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to pilot a new Sunday Literacy program at five of our neighborhood libraries. This program offers…

Community Storytime

Tue, Dec 20, 11:00 A.M.

Join us for the fall series of our popular family story times! Toddlers, preschoolers, and their families are all welcome to attend this free…

Affordable Care Act: Open Enrollment Period 2016-17

Wed, Dec 21, 11:00 A.M.

Having trouble getting healthcare? The Free Library is here to help! You might qualify for new options, and now is the time to sign up! Open…

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?

Featured Programs & Services

Public Transportation

Bus Routes: 32(then 2 blocks east), 33(then 9 blocks west), 48(then 1 block east), 54(to the door)
Subway/Surface: Broad Street line to North Philadelphia/Lehigh Avenue Terminal (then the 54 Bus West on Lehigh)
R8 Commuter Rail to North Philadelphia Station (then the 54 Bus West on Lehigh)
R7 Commuter Rail to North Philadelphia Station (then the 54 Bus West on Lehigh)