X You may need to Reload the page to make it work correctly.

Free Library of Philadelphia

Opened in 1927, the Parkway Central Library is the heart of the 54-branch Free Library of Philadelphia system. Home to some 7 million items, Parkway Central sees more than 1 million visits each year. Newly renovated and expanded public spaces designed by Moshe Safdie and Associates will open in 2019.

  • Technology

    80 public-access computers and free WiFi throughout the building.

  • Lectures

    More than 35 Author Events lectures each season.

  • Special Collections

    Special collections and departments including the Rare Book Department and the Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music.

For Adults

Lectures Throughout the year, the Free Library Author Events Series brings world-renowned authors and local favorites to the Parkway Central Library. Past appearances include: Then-Senator Barrack Obama; Barbara Walters; Marjane Satrapi; Ken Burns; and Lidia Bastianich. Visit freelibrary.org/authorevents

Community/public events For a list of all public events, visit freelibrary.org, and click on Calendar

Workshops For details visit freelibrary.org and click on Calendar

Continuing Education Classes For more information visit freelibrary.org and click on Calendar

Clubs, Membership Organizations The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation offers many ways to get involved, support the Library, and meet new people. From our 20- and 30-somethings membership group to our exclusive generous donor societies, find the fit for you at freelibrary.org/support

Facility Rental/Weddings Parkway Central Library offers several beautiful rentable spaces in our stunning Beaux-Arts building for weddings and other special events. Contact Victoria Gilbert at gilbertv@freelibrary.org or 215-567-7710.

For Kids

Summer Camps Every year, the Free Library of Philadelphia offers a system-wide Summer Reading program for preschoolers to high-school seniors. Visit freelibrary.org/summerreading.

After School Activities From homework help to special after-school events to Teen Tuesdays, visit freelibrary.org for upcoming programming.

Classes/Saturday Classes/Workshops The Free Library offers everything from art workshops to special performances throughout the week. Visit freelibrary.org for details.

Pre-school activities From storytime hours to easy craft workshops, visit freelibrary.org for upcoming programming.

For Students, Schools/Teachers

Continuing Education classes ESL, GED, and Adult Reader Development courses offered. For schedules, visit freelibrary.org and click on Calendar.

Saturday Classes Visit freelibrary.org and click on Calendar for up-to-date offerings.

Tutoring Online Homework Help daily from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Visit freelibrary.org and click on “Homework Help.”

Education Homework Help Online, LEAP After-School Program, ESL and GED tutoring are among the educational offerings from the Parkway Central Library. Visit freelibrary.org for up-to-date offerings.

After School Programs LEAP drop-in after-school program offers homework help and teaches computer literacy and library skills. Visit freelibrary.org/libserv/leap.htm

School Group Tours Available upon request. Contact Central Public Services Division at 215-686-5415 

Online Teaching Materials Visit freelibrary.org for a variety of online resources from databases to special “Explore” topics to Homework Help Online.

In-school workshops, presentations Available upon request. Contact Central Public Services Division at 215-686-5415 




Hour-long tours of the Rare Book Department - home to cuneiform tablets, Charles Dickens’ desk, and one of the largest collections of Edgar Allan Poe ephemera - are free and occur Monday through Saturday at 11:00 a.m. 

Evening Activities 

Public access hours/checkout; author events; workshops; discussions; lectures; special event receptions. 


For a wide-range of volunteer activities, call 215-686-5340 or email volunteer@freelibrary.org

© 2010-2018 Parkway Council Foundation. All rights reserved.