All locations CLOSED on Thursday, Nov. 25, for Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful holiday!

Washington Avenue Branch

CURRENT PHASE: HIGH | The following in-person services are suspended at this time: study rooms, meeting rooms, in-person reference assistance, all indoor and select outdoor programs, indoor seating, and restrooms. Book and material returns must be done via interior and exterior book drops. There are capacity restrictions on the number of people who can be in each branch building at one time. | Updated 8/25/21

Core services are available in person during all phases of the pandemic | Pickup and checkout of material; browsing of book, music, movie, reference, and all other collections; computer and internet use; copying, printing, faxing, and scanning documents; and purchasing or replenishing CDTA Navigator bus passes.

NOW OPEN MORE HOURS | The Washington Ave. Branch is now open for several more hours across the weekly schedule. The branch now opens at 10 am Monday through Saturday. The branch now closes at 8 pm on Monday through Thursday, at 6 pm on Friday, and at 5 pm on Saturday.


Located in the heart of Albany’s Center Square neighborhood, the Washington Avenue Branch is Albany Public Library’s flagship location.  It is where you will find our administrative offices, Local History Room, and Albany Made Creative and Digital Labs.  The Washington Avenue Branch is also home to Literacy New York of the Capital Region’s Albany County office, and we partner with them and numerous other community organizations to bring educational programs to our members at this mid-town Albany location.

Although the Washington Avenue Branch is our center of library operations and administration, it is also very much a neighborhood library with a recently remodeled youth services space, new community room, and study rooms on the second floor, and redefined quiet reading areas and café-style seating on the ground floor.  If you haven’t visited our Washington Avenue Branch in a while, we invite you to check us out!

To get there by bus:

Washington Ave & Lark St (Lark Station) – Route 1, Route 10, Route 12, Route 182, Route 712, Route 737, Route 905

Washington Ave & Dove St – Route 1, Route 10, Route 12, Route 13, Route 18Route 182, Route 712, Route 734Route 737, Route 763

Location Hours:

Monday 10 am-8 pm
Tuesday 10 am-8 pm
Wednesday 10 am-8 pm
Thursday 10 am-8 pm
Friday 10 am-6 pm
Saturday 10 am-5 pm

Co-Branch Managers: Jim Davies & Lisa Neuman

161 Washington Avenue Albany NY 12210 (518) 427-4300 ext. 1 (NEW!) Get Driving Directions

  • Services
  • Special Collections
  • Ongoing Programs
  • Off-street parking
  • 23 public access computers
  • Black & white printer ($0.10/page)
  • Black & white photocopier ($0.10/page)
  • Color photocopier ($.50/page)
  • Scanner — coming soon
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free notary service (call for schedule; photo ID required)
  • Two community meeting rooms
  • Three small-group study rooms

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Collection

The ESOL collection includes bilingual dictionaries, books on grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, and CD sets to practice listening and conversation skills. It also includes resources for teachers of ESOL students.

Basic Adult Education Collection

This collection is geared toward adults whose first language is English and are learning to read or seeking to improve literacy skills. It includes books on reading, grammar, vocabulary, and basic math, as well as recreational reading materials at various reading levels and resources for literacy teachers.

Job Information Collection

The Job Information Collection includes books on job hunting and interview strategies, networking, resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing. It also includes in-depth looks at many career choices and requirements.

Small Business Collection

Geared toward potential and entrepreneurs, the Small Business Collection will help you get a better idea if going into business for yourself is right for you. The collection includes guides to business plans, marketing, accounting and bookkeeping, and much more.

Test Preparation Collection

Our Adult Services librarians support adult test takers by collecting study materials for high school, undergraduate and graduate education exams, civil service, military, certification, and other employment-related or exams. This collection also includes general study guides for math, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary.

Parenting Collection

The Youth Services librarians collect timely books for parents and caregivers that offer ideas for developmental and educational activities to do with children and strategies to tackle sensitive subjects related to pregnancy and parenting. This collection also has many picture books to share with children that cover sensitive subjects such as the illness or death of a loved one or pet, divorce, body safety, family member’s arrest or incarceration, and much more.

Fishing Poles!

That’s right! We said fishing poles! If you can’t think of a better way to spend warm spring and summer days than fishing on a local stream, lake, or river, come to the Washington Avenue Branch, borrow however many poles you need, and then spend a day relaxing and trying your luck in the area’s many fine fishing holes.

Local Music CD Collection

Albany is a musical city, and we’re fortunate that local independent radio stations and local musicians are big library supporters! To show our appreciation and enthusiasm for the supporters of the “Local 518” music scene, we have a large collection of CDs by regional artists.

  • Story Time – Youth Services librarians select wonderful, age-appropriate books, sing songs, and engage in rhyming and finger play (kids & families)
  • 1st Saturday for Families – Join us for fun activities for children and families the first Saturday morning of each month led by our talented Youth Services Librarians
  • Tutoring – Tutors from local colleges and organizations help youth in 1st through 12th grades with homework, test taking or any school subject (by appointment; kids & teens)
  • Minecraft & Wii – Enjoy a weekly video gaming session right in our Youth Services department (kids and teens)
  • Teen Open Computer Lab – Teens are free to use our digital lab to do homework, learn computing skills, play games, watch videos, or surf the web
  • Adult Music Programs – We feature live rock music in our garage in the summer, live scores of silent films in the fall, and local songwriters composing original music about books they love all year round…and that’s just to name a few!
  • Friends of APL Book Talks – The Friends of Albany Public Library host weekly reviews, author talks, and special presentations every Tuesday at noon (adults)
  • Albany Symphony Orchestra Vanguard Prevue – Conductor David Alan Miller presents a prevue of upcoming Albany Symphony Orchestra performances (all ages)
  • Personal Finance Programs – Regular credit repair and financial planning consultations and homebuyers workshops hosted by various community partners (adults)
  • Legal Consultations – Free, 30-minute private and confidential consultations with experienced attorneys about most civil legal topics, provided by The Legal Project of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association (by appointment; adults)
  • High School Equivalency Test Prep Classes – Capital Region BOCES High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma test prep class (adults)
  • Albany Made Creative Lab – Our new Albany Made digital and creative labs at our Washington Avenue Branch provide adults with public access to creative arts materials and digital technology, like a 3D printer and scanner, a craft laser cutter, audio and video editing software, bike repair station, and more (adults)