Free Library of Philadelphia
1.  Where can I find government regulations?

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

In addition,, , the public face of the Federal eRulemaking Program, facilitates public participation in the Federal regulatory process by improving the public's ability to find, view, and comment on Federal regulatory actions.

Government regulations for Pennsylvania are found in the Pennsylvania Code, the Commonwealth's official publication of rules and regulations.

2.  Can I find a list of online reports available for the City of Philadelphia?

The City of Philadelphia has online resources about City budget and financial matters, demographic and neighborhood statistcs, City and State government, the Court system, and public and private records.

Source: City of Philadelphia homepage
3.  Where can I access information about Social Security online?
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) Web page offers the following information:
  • Electronic publications on benefit services, including forms
  • Information about the SSA, including regional contact information
  • Online Direct Services, including benefit information
  • Laws, Regulations, Rulings, etc.
  • Understanding Social Security

Source: U.S. Social Security Administration homepage
4.  Where can I find the forms to renew a Pennsylvania driver's license or vehicle registration?

The Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles Web site has printable forms here.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation homepage
5.  How can I get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of my elected officials?

Check out our Elected Officials guide.

6.  Where can I access Census information online?

The American FactFinder of the United State Census Bureau is the best place to start.  From this site, you may find data sets from the 2000 and 2010 Census.  The Government Publications Department also has Census reports in paper format from 1790 to the present.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
7.  Can I access basic Federal, State and Local statistics online?

Yes, the U.S. Census Bureau publishes the Statistical Abstract of the United States which serves as the National Data Book.  It contains a collection of statistics on social and economic conditions in the United States. Selected international data are also included.

The Abstract is also your Guide to Sources of other data from the Census Bureau, other Federal agencies, and private organizations. The Government Publications Department owns the Statistical Abstract in paper format from 1903 to the present.  Online versions of the Statistical Abstract from 1878 - 2009 are also available.

Another source of statistical information from the Federal government is FedStats . FedStats provides easy access to statistics and information produced by more than 70 U.S. Federal Government agencies. All of the statistical information available through FedStats is maintained and updated solely by Federal agencies on their own Internet servers.

Since 1981 the Pennsylvania State Data Center has served as the Commonwealth's official source of demographic and economic data. The PSDC can provide you with population, social, housing and economic characteristics of the state of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Regional statistical data is available from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce .

Source: U.S. Census Bureau's website,, Pennsylvania State Data Center, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
8.  Can I find Federal and State of Pennsylvania consumer information online?

The U.S.Consumer Information Center in Pueblo, Co. provides consumer information on many topics including: cars, children, education, employment, food, and health.

Additional federal consumer information is available from the Federal Trade Commission.

Consumer information and protection in Pennsylvania is available from the Bureau of Consumer Protection, which is part of the Attorney General's Office .

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, and its purpose is "make make markets for consumer products and services work for Americans." 


Source: U.S. Consumer Information Center, PA Attorney General's Office, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
9.  Where can I find Philadelphia Civil Service regulations?

The Personnel Department of the City of Philadelphia maintains the Civil Service regulations online.

Source: City of Philadelphia Personnel Department homepage
10.  What information on the Pennsylvania General Assembly is available online?

The Pennsylvania General Assembly maintains a homepage that offers the following information:

  • Welcome Information
  • What's New
  • House of Representatives
  • The Senate
  • Session Information

Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly homepage
11.  Can I access information about the Philadelphia Empowerment Zone online?

 The Philadelphia Empowerment Zone has a homepage which offers the following information:

  • Overview
  • Financing
  • Tax benefits
  • Maps & data
  • Contact information
  • Business success stories

Source: Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development
12.  Can I find a list of Federal Government agencies on the Internet?

 Louisiana State University Library has compiled a Federal Agencies Directory . The List separates Agencies into

  • Executive Branch
  • Judicial Branch
  • Legislative Branch
  • Independent Boards, Commissions and Committees
  • Quasi-Official
  • "Search"

Source: Louisiana State University Libraries
13.  Can I access information about Foreign countries online?

Yes you can. The United States Department of State maintains Background Notes and other foreign country information.  The Library of Congress Federal Research Division publishes Country Studies.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency has the "World Factbook " on their homepage. The Factbook includes valuable basic information about foreign countries.

Source: U.S. Department of State, U. S. Central Intelligence Agency, Library of Congress homepages
14.  Can I access information on the political process for the City of Philadelphia online?

The Government Publications Department would like to refer you to the homepage of The Committee of Seventy . "The Committee of Seventy is a not-for-profit, non-partisan political watchdog organization dedicated to advancing good government for the City of Philadelphia and its surrounding communities since 1904." You will find a wealth of political information and data about Philadelphia and the Region.

Source: Committee of Seventy web site
15.  Where can I find laws and regulations for Pennsylvania?

The laws of Pennsylvania are published in Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated and the regulations are in the Pennsylvania Code.  The Pennsylvania Code and the Pennsylvania Statutes are available online. Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated are not available for free online. Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated and the Code are available in print in the Government Publications Department.  

Source: Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau
16.  Does the State of Pennsylvania have a homepage?

The State of Pennsylvania's homepage is available online.

Source: Pennsylvania Homepage
17.  Is the Pennsylvania Manual available online?

The Pennsylvania Manual is available online in pdf format.  The Pennsylvania Manual is a comprehensive guide to Pennsylvania's government.  It includes Pennsylvania history, the Pennsylvania Constitution, and elections results. It profiles the executive, judicial, and legislative branches including information on the powers, functions, and duties of those offices.

Source: State of Pennsylvania Homepage
18.  Where can I find government information geared towards children online?

The U.S. Government sponsors "Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids ." "Ben's Guide" has resources divided by school grade groups K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Also featured is information for Parents & Teachers , U.S. Government Web Sites for Kids and U.S. Government Information in Libraries .

For a list of Kids' pages of Pennsylvania government agencies, try Play in Pennsylvania.


Source: Government Printing Office, State of Pennsylvania Homepage
19.  Where can I find the laws and regulations of the United States?

The laws of the United States are in the United States Code and the regulations of federal agencies are in the Code of Federal Regulations. Both are available from Both the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations are available in print in the Government Publications Department.

Source: U.S. Government Printing Office
20.  Where can I find Philadelphia laws?

Philadelphia laws are in the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter and the Philadelphia Code. The Charter and Code are also available in print in the Government Publications Department and many of the branches.  For Philadelphia City Council bills and resolutions, visit City Council's Legislative Information Center.

Source: City of Philadelphia Web site
21.  How do I find U.S. Congressional hearings, reports, documents and bills?

The Government Publications Department has current and historical hearings, reports, documents and bills dating back to the 18th century. The Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System, or FDsys, has current and recent historical publications.  The Free library subscribes to a database called the Readex United States Congressional Serial Set.  Here, you will find Congressional Bills, House and Senate Reports, House and Senate Documents, and more from 1817 - 1980.  This database is available from inside any Free Library location.

Source: U.S. Government Printing Office
22.  How can Philadelphia students get working papers needed for employment?

The School District of Philadelphia's Web site has working papers application forms, instructions, and information.

Source: School District of Philadelphia Web site
23.  Where can I get tax forms and tax publications for individuals?

Federal tax forms and publications from 1980 to the current tax year may be printed from the IRS Web site . Pennsylvania state tax forms and publications from 1995 to the current tax year may be printed from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue site . The City of Philadelphia has a wage tax rather than an income tax and most employers tax this tax out automatically. There is a Philadelphia School Income Tax on non-wage income and forms are available on the Philadelphia Department of Revenue site . Supplies of common federal and state forms are also available in the Government Publications Department and in many library branches.

Source: Internal Revenue Service, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, City of Philadelphia Revenue Department
24.  Where can I find federal, state and local government job opportunities?

Listings, job descriptions and electronic or printable application forms are available online at , Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Civil Service Job Listings , and City of Philadelphia Personnel Department for federal, state, and city jobs respectively. The Government Publications Department has print listings of City of Philadelphia job opportunities.

Source:, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Employment Opportunities Web site, City of Philadelphia Personnel Department
25.  Where can I get passport and travel visa information and applications?

The U.S. Department of State Web site has:

Source: United States Department of State homepage
26.  Where can I find the consumer price index for the Philadelphia area?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides current and historical indexes and change percentages for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). For the Philadelphia area Consumer Price Index, see this page.

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics homepage