Kensington Library

Kensington Library is temporarily closed.

Monday, September 14 – Message from Staff

Are you an adult who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you! Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their adult patrons around the city to join our VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB! Sign up now and receive your free grab bag with the selected book of the month and other goodies delivered right to your front door.

Saturday, August 1 – Message from Staff

Are you a teen who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you! Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia are now inviting their teen patrons around the city to join our VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB! Sign up now and receive your free grab bag with the selected book of the month and other goodies delivered right to your front door.

104 West Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133-3701
Hope & Dauphin Sts.
Learn about limited services at the Free Library.

Upcoming Events

Virtual PAWS for Reading: Read to a Therapy Dog

Tue, September 29, 2020 3:00 P.M.

Join us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 3:00-4:00 p.m. to read to a therapy animal friend from PAWS for people on a live video conference. Reading to a dog helps children develop…

Virtual PAWS for Reading: Read to a Therapy Dog

Wed, September 30, 2020 3:00 P.M.

Join us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 3:00-4:00 p.m. to read to a therapy animal friend from PAWS for people on a live video conference. Reading to a dog helps children develop…

Teen Virtual Book Club: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Wed, September 30, 2020 7:00 P.M.

Are you a teen who loves to read and wants to talk about some great books with fellow book lovers? We have some good news for you! Several North Philly librarians from the Free Library of…

Virtual PAWS for Reading: Read to a Therapy Dog

Thu, October 1, 2020 3:00 P.M.

Join us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 3:00-4:00 p.m. to read to a therapy animal friend from PAWS for people on a live video conference. Reading to a dog helps children develop…

About

Located near the York-Dauphin El station, the Kensington Branch serves Kensington, West Kensington, and Norris Square. Bienvenidos! Libros, videos, revistas y música en español.

NOTE: Our fax line is temporarily out of order. To get in touch with the branch, please call our regular phone line at 215-685-9996, send a message through our Facebook page, or email branch manager Sara Palmer: palmers at freelibrary dot org.

History

In the early 1700s, Anthony Palmer, an English businessman working in Barbados, purchased a large tract of land that he called Kensington after a suburb of London. Early residents were shipbuilders and fishermen, but by the 1830s Kensington had become the textile center of Philadelphia. In 1922, the Frankford elevated line began operation, passing through Kensington Avenue. The textile mills moved south by the end of the 1930s.

Kensington Branch was originally known as Frankford Avenue Branch, Branch Number 3 of the Free Library system. It opened on May 21, 1894 at 1856 Frankford Avenue. The name was changed to the Kensington Branch in 1900. In August 1902 it moved to an empty church building at 2055 East Dauphin Street where it remained for 51 years. In 1953, pending completion of plans for a new location, the agency moved to a small rented shop at 2508 North Front Street.

The current Kensington Branch opened on July 20, 1956. It was renovated in 1997 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library. When you visit, take a look at the mosaic in the meeting room. It was designed by Network Arts and created with the help of neighborhood children.