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October 11, 2023

Free Library of Philadelphia to adjust hours, open Saturdays at all branches

Changes to weekday schedules take effect next week. Weekend openings will be announced soon

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Free Library Philadelphia Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The Free Library of Philadelphia is modifying its hours this fall and will soon open all of its branches on Saturdays.

The Free Library of Philadelphia will revise its hours this month. Soon after, all branches will be open on Saturdays.

The schedule changes are part of an effort to offer more consistency and expanded service. During the COVID-19 pandemic, budget cuts and staff reductions led to reduced hours across the Free Library system.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 16, new weekday hours will take effect at all Free Library branches. Saturday hours, which have yet to be announced, will resume once the Free Library hires new staff to fill those hours. Earlier this year, the Free Library temporarily opened on Saturdays at 10 of its 54 branches.

“These changes will allow us to make better use of staffing and other resources during times when more patrons are in our buildings,” said Kelly Richards, president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Parkway Central Library will operate Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The following neighborhood libraries will operate Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday-Friday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.: Andorra, Bushrod, Bustleton, Charles Santore, Chestnut Hill, David Cohen Ogontz, Eastwick, Falls of Schuylkill, Fishtown, Fox Chase, Fumo Family, Greater Olney, Haverford, Holmesburg, Independence, Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional, Katherine Drexel, Logan, Lovett Memorial, Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional, Northeast Regional, Oak Lane, Philadelphia City Institute, Queen Memorial, Richmond, Roxborough, South Philadelphia, Tacony, Thomas F. Donatucci, Sr., Torresdale, Wadsworth, Walnut Street West, Welsh Road, West Oak Lane, Whitman and Wynnefield.

Another group of libraries will have a modified schedule, as they will be open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Cecil B. Moore, Charles L. Durham, Haddington, Kensington, Lillian Marrero, McPherson Square, Nicetown-Tioga, Overbook Park, Ramonita G. de Rodriguez, Widener and Wyoming.

The Kingsessing, Paschalville, Frankford, Lawncrest and Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek libraries are currently closed for renovations.

The Free Library of Philadelphia received a $1 million grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts this year to develop a new strategic plan. Part of that process involves community engagement to better understand the needs of neighborhood branches and how people have adapted to a mix of digital and in-person services.

Richards took over as president and director of the Free Library in November 2021. His selection came more than a year after the resignation of former president and director Siobhan Reardon, who stepped down amid staff accusations of workplace discrimination and calls for reform.