The Free Library is Fully Open for Public Entry


The Free Library has been working to serve Philadelphians all throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with curbside check-out, virtual programs, and more. Some libraries have had limited in-person hours for over a year now. But as of August, Philadelphia’s public libraries are at long last back to being full-time in-person community hubs.

Kingsessing Library (51st and Kingsessing) and Blanche A. Nixon / Cobbs Creek Library (59th and Baltimore) are all open 10AM-6PM, Monday through Thursday, and 10AM-5PM on Friday. Eastwick Library (Island Ave. & Lindbergh Blvd.) and Walnut West Library (40th and Walnut) are both open 12PM-8PM, Monday and Wednesday, 10AM-6PM Tuesday and Thursday, and 10AM-5PM on Friday. Paschalville Library (70th and Woodland) will be open 2PM-6PM Monday Through Thursday, and 2PM-5PM Fridays.

Anyone coming to those libraries during those hours can browse, check out items, use computers, and get help from library staff, though one-on-one help must account for social distancing. Whether you need book recommendations from a librarian, help with your resume, or a climate-controlled place to read or work on a laptop – the library’s the place for you! Just remember to wear your mask.

As the author of this article is the branch head at the Kingsessing Library, this article will now focus on highlights about what’s going on at Kingsessing. To learn more about the other Southwest libraries visit their branch pages at

The Kingsessing Library is offering storytime for young kids and their caregivers every Wednesday morning at 10:30. Storytime takes place outside, behind the library, on the field of the Rec Center. In case of bad weather, storytime will move inside the library and be capped at ten people. Check the branch Facebook page for updates:

Local parents and other caregivers are invited to join Kingsessing’s children librarian for a series of Parent Workshops and “Coffee Hours” to talk about the skills and self-care needed to start a new and challenging school year. The next one will be a general Coffee Hour on September 28th at 4:30PM, and the following one will be a workshop on early literacy skills on Tuesday, October 12th at 4:30PM. Get the full line-up, as well as a preview of all branch programming, in-person or virtual, at

School-age children can come by the library for homework help every day until 6PM (5PM on Friday). Kids who are all caught up on school work can read, draw, or try their hand at one of a rotating menu of make-and-take crafts. Anyone seven years or older can be in the library – though, again, remember that all people two years and up must be masked while indoors.

We know the economy is challenging right now, so the library is excited to offer one-on-one consultation with a career counselor from CareerLink. The counselor will be sitting at a table by the front door every Thursday from 1PM-2:30PM.

Lastly, we’ll be able to get closer to “normal” once COVID infection rates decline. To help with this, Kingsessing Library is hosting staff from Drexel School of Medicine, who offer free COVID testing to anyone eight or older – no ID or insurance required – every Tuesday from 2PM-4PM.

Your Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood library has missed you this last year and a half. Come visit soon!

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