West Oak Lane Library

West Oak Lane Library is temporarily closed.

Friday, November 20 – Message from Staff

The health and safety of our staff and customers is our utmost priority.  In the interest of limiting the impact and spread of COVID-19, all Free Library buildings will be closed to the public starting Friday, November 20.  While our buildings remain closed, some branches may resume offering contactless materials pickup and returns on November 30, subject to Philadelphia Department of Health guidance.  In the meantime, many programs are proceeding virtually and our award-winning digital resources are available 24/7.

2000 E Washington Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19138-1344
74th Ave & Washington Lane

Upcoming Events

Free Nutrition Classes (Virtual)

Wed, December 2, 2020 6:30 P.M.

We are offering a free, 4-week series for adults. You will learn about: Family-friendly recipes Balanced meals and snacks Healthy hydration Meal planning and food safety, and more Pre-registration…

Free Nutrition Classes (Virtual)

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

We are offering a free, 4-week series for adults. You will learn about: Family-friendly recipes Balanced meals and snacks Healthy hydration Meal planning and food safety, and more Pre-registration…

Free Nutrition Classes (Virtual)

Sat, December 5, 2020 12:00 P.M.

We are offering a free, 4-week series for adults. You will learn about: Family-friendly recipes Balanced meals and snacks Healthy hydration Meal planning and food safety, and more Pre-registration…

Free Nutrition Classes (Virtual)

Wed, December 9, 2020 6:30 P.M.

We are offering a free, 4-week series for adults. You will learn about: Family-friendly recipes Balanced meals and snacks Healthy hydration Meal planning and food safety, and more Pre-registration…

About

Located at the intersection of 74th Avenue, Washington Lane, and Limekiln Pike, the West Oak Lane Branch serves West Oak Lane and parts of Cedarbrook, Ivy Hill, and East Mt. Airy.
Find us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/WOLLibrary to see our programs and activities!

History

Before 1854, when the area became incorporated into the city of Philadelphia, the future neighborhood of West Oak Lane was made up of settlements called Pleasantville, Cedar Park and Pittville. As the region was mostly farmland in the 19th century, they were not really towns, just crossroads or a few acres of cleared land.

It is reported that a realtor began calling this collection of settlements West Oak Lane to distinguish it from Oak Lane, which occupied the area east of Old York Road and Broad Street. The area was officially named West Oak Lane in 1925, when real estate development began in earnest.

Limekiln Pike takes its name from the limestone quarries in Montgomery County, the road's original terminus. This old road, running north-south through the West Oak Lane community, was a toll road from 1735 to 1903. One of the toll gatehouses still stands.

A block away, Ogontz Avenue is named for Chief Ogontz, a Native American who entertained Civil War financier Jay Cooke when Cooke was a boy at his family's home in Sandusky Ohio. In 1865, Cooke named his Oak Lane mansion for Chief Ogontz.

The West Oak Lane Branch first opened to the public on August 26, 1957. 2,000 people visited the library during the first hour it was open. In 1980, disaster struck, and the West Oak Lane Branch was almost totally destroyed by fire. After reconstruction, it re-opened in 1985. The library was renovated in 2000 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which brought Internet access to every branch.

Look for sculptures of abstract mask forms in the picture book area. Artist Charles Searles created them, reflecting his American, African and Native American heritage.