Kingsessing Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

Friday, September 11 – Message from Staff

Materials Pickup and Phone Reference will be available Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Call during these hours for details, (215) 685-2690. Our book drop will also be open during these hours and overnight on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. 


1201 South 51st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143-4353
5lst St. between Kingsessing and Chester Avenues

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Oct. 12 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Wed., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 26 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Fri., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
View all holiday closings

Services By Appointment



  • Book drop box
  • Street parking (free)

Upcoming Events

CANCELLED - Kingsessing Library Community Give-Back

Thu, October 8, 2020 11:00 A.M.

Do you or the children in your life need school supplies? The Kingsessing Library will be giving away free items in front of the library on 51st Street between Chester and Kingsessing. These will include pencils, erasers, notebooks, art supplies, and tons of books for all ages. There will also…


Located nearbythe Kingsessing Recreation Center, this branch serves the Kingsessing neighborhood. The building is a half block south of Chester Avenue.


Kingsessing gets its name from the Indian word Chincessing, meaning "bog meadow" or "place of the big shells." This name was applied by the Dutch and the Swedes to the whole region along the west bank of the lower Schuylkill River. First officially mentioned in 1667, Kingsessing was the first village within the territory of Philadelphia.

The township of Kingsessing became a part of Philadelphia in 1854. At that time, the Belmont Cricket Club Playing Field occupied the land on which the library and recreation center now sit.

Kingsessing Branch opened on November 29, 1919, the 22nd library in Philadelphia to be constructed with Carnegie funds. The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library.

While you're in the neighborhood, you can visit Bartram's Garden at 54th and Lindbergh Boulevard. Established by John Bartram in 1730, it’s now the oldest botanical garden in the country.