Washington Avenue Branch

Located in the heart of Albany’s Center Square neighborhood, the Washington Avenue Branch is where you will find our administrative offices and a full-service library. The Washington Avenue Branch features:

  • Adult collections, DVDs and CDs, reading areas, and public computers on the ground floor.
  • Children’s and teen spaces and collections on the second floor, overlooking Washington Ave.
  • A community room, study rooms, meeting rooms, and a large auditorium (with hearing loop).
  • Local History Room, which is currently open by appointment. (Call 518-427-4300 x0302.)
  • Albany Made Creative Lab, which has open hours on Tuesdays from 3 pm to 5 pm. (Call 518-427-4300 x0303.)

We partner with numerous other community organizations to bring educational programs and services to our mid-town Albany location. 

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-6 pm
Tuesday 12-8 pm
Wednesday 10 am-6 pm
Thursday 12-8 pm
Friday 10 am-6 pm
Saturday 10 am-5 pm
Sunday Closed
2024 Schedule of Service | Includes holiday hours and closures | Updated 2/14/24



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

  • Services
  • Special Collections
  • Ongoing Programs
  • Off-street parking
  • 23 public access computers
  • Printing: Black & white ($0.10/page) and color ($0.15/page)
  • Copying: Black & white ($0.10/page)
  • Scanning (free)
  • Faxing: Sending only; no receiving ($0.50/page)
  • CDTA Navigator card services
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Two community meeting rooms
  • Three small-group study rooms

Local History Collection

The Local History Room on the second floor is home to our Pruyn Collection of Albany History.

The collection includes books, pamphlets, clippings, newspapers, city directories, photographs, and more. While the primary focus of the collection is on the history of the City of Albany, we also have some materials related to other communities in Albany County.

The Local History Room is open by appointment. Please call (518) 427-4300 x302 to schedule an appointment.

If you need research assistance, please email localhistory@albanypubliclibrary.org.

APL also has a local history digital collection that can be access online from anywhere.

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.

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.