The Widener Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, located at 2808 W. Lehigh Avenue, will celebrate its grand opening from 1 to 4 p.m., on February 12.
The celebration will include music, storytelling, refreshments, building tours, remarks by dignitaries, computer demonstrations, and more.
The brand new Widener Branch Library has 8,400 square feet of space on a single floor which is completely ADA compliant. The design of the space is based on the theme of the African Plains, including four special areas for children: Preschool Plains, School-Age Savanna, Pre-Teen Plateau, and Teen Terrain. These areas include age appropriate books and materials, special seating, and computers.
Among the other highlights of the new branch building are the Checkpoint Radio Frequency Identification Self Checkout equipment, which is only in use in one other Free Library location; patron parking and landscaping to the rear of the building; eight public access computers, and 40,000 books and materials available for patrons to borrow for free.
The Widener Branch has been a mainstay of the community it serves since 1901, when it opened at 1200 N. Broad Street, expanding to the larger space of the Bankers Trust Building at 2531 W. Lehigh Avenue in 1946, where it remained until the current move to the brand new building.
Until February 14 the new Widener branch will be open Monday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. As of the 14th, the hours will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.