Imagine the Possibilities

Free Library of Philadelphia Tours & Events

The Free Library of Philadelphia welcomes you to our city and hopes you’ll be able to get to know us while you’re here. We have three libraries located in Center City:

Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street
Monday–Thursday 9:00 AM–9:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday 1:00–5:00 PM
Independence Library
S. 7th Street
Monday, Wednesday 12:00 PM–8:00 PM
Tuesday, Thursday–Saturday 10:00 AM–6:00 PM
Philadelphia City Institute
S. 18th Street, on Rittenhouse Square
Monday, Wednesday 12:00 PM–8:00 PM
Tuesday, Thursday–Saturday 10:00 AM–6:00 PM

Parkway Central Library Tours & Events

In addition to weekday tours of the library for the general public daily (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday at 2:00 PM; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 10:00 AM), there will be several free tours and opportunities for PLA attendees:

  • Full-Building Tour │ Meet in the Main Lobby
    Tuesday–Friday 2:00 PM–3:30 PM
    Tour includes departments, special collections, and special areas. Sign up at

  • Rare Book Department Tour │ 3rd floor
    Tuesday–Friday 3:00 PM
    This department is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

  • Way-too-Big Wednesday │ 3rd floor PUBLIC EVENT
    Wednesday 5:00 PM–7:00 PM
    This special event in the Rare Book Department is connected to its current exhibition Big and Small: Books for All.

  • Culinary Literacy Center Tour │ 4th floor
    Thursday 10:00 AM
    The Culinary Literacy Center will also be presenting a program at the conference on Friday afternoon.

  • Family Cooking Class: Street Food Remix │ 4th floor PUBLIC EVENT
    Registration is required for this Culinary Literacy Center program. For more information, visit

The Parkway Central Library also has a social worker on duty Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and a nurse who available Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Both specialists will be happy to talk with conference attendees about their duties and relationship with the Free Library.

Neighborhood Library Tours

The Free Library of Philadelphia recently completed extensive renovation and modernization of five of our 54 locations—part of the ambitious Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative, which was made possible in large part by a historic $25 million gift from the William Penn Foundation, the largest private gift ever received by the Free Library. The Lillian Marrero, Logan, Lovett Memorial, and Tacony libraries all had grand reopening celebrations in November and December.

The South Philadelphia Library reopened in June 2016 in the brand-new South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center, which brings together the services of a library, a recreation center, a city health center, and a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) pediatricians’ office in one location to better serve the community.

We welcome conference attendees to sign up for tours of these beautiful new spaces, to learn more about the design of these 21st-century library spaces, and to talk with librarians and community organizers about the Free Library’s approach to community engagement.

  • Tour of Tacony and Lillian Marrero LibrariesCANCELLED
    Tuesday, March 20
    1:30 PM – Bus pickup at Convention Center
    5:00 PM – Bus drop off at Convention Center

  • Tour of Logan and Lovett LibrariesCANCELLED
    Wednesday, March 21
    10:00 AM – Bus pickup at Convention Center
    1:45 PM – Bus drop off at Convention Center

  • Tour of South Philadelphia Library │ FREE (excluding SEPTA fare)
    Thursday, March 22 │ 1:30 PM–3:30 PM
    Tour participants will meet at 1:30 PM at the Convention Center. Free Library staff will escort the group via subway to and from the South Philadelphia Library.
    Register for this tour at

The Free Library of Philadelphia welcomes all participants in the PLA 2018 Conference!

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

The PLA 2018 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.

Attendee Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 23, 2018, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 23, 2018. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours. No meal tickets will be sold onsite.

Exhibitor Cancellation Policy

All booth space cancellation requests must be received in writing by Show Management (Corcoran Expositions). If space is reduced, the net reduction of space will be treated as a cancellation of that space. If Show Management receives a written request for cancellation of space on or before October 31, 2017, the exhibitor will be eligible for a refund less the nonrefundable deposit of $950 per 100 square feet of exhibit space. For cancellations received after October 31, 2017, exhibitors are liable for 100% of the cost of space.


Print and electronic advertising opportunities are available to reach PLA members and attendees both before and during the conference.


Interested in exhibiting at PLA 2018? Contact Carly DiVito, Corcoran Expositions, at 312-541-0567 or


Contact Macey Morales, Deputy Director, ALA Public Awareness Office, 312-280-4393 or Please review our conference media policy.


ALA and PLA membership is managed by the ALA Membership & Customer Service (MACS) unit. You can join or renew/rejoin/add to your membership using ALA’s secure online form; or you can print and fill out a membership form and fax or mail it in; or call 800-545-2433 and press 5. Direct your membership questions to MACS at or 800-545-2433 and press 5. MACS representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Central.

Registration & Housing

Problems or questions regarding registration or housing? Contact Experient at or 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada)/847-996-5829 (all other countries). Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–6:00 PM Eastern.


To discuss PLA 2018 sponsorship opportunities, contact Corcoran Expositions, Mary Michalik at 312-265-9650,; or Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

Thank You PLA 2018 Conference Sponsors!

Other Questions

Many commonly asked questions are answered in our FAQ. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for, please contact PLA at 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or Or the PLA Staff directory may help you find just the right person to ask.

PLA 2016 Archive

Looking for handouts and other information from the PLA 2016 Conference, which took place April 5–9, 2016 in Denver, CO? The PLA 2016 Conference website has been archived at

View the list of past PLA Conferences from 1983 to present.