Bushrod Library

6304 Castor Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19149-2731
(Castor Ave. & Stirling St.)

Open today 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Sat., Aug. 31 : Closed Labor Day weekend
  • Sun., Sep. 1 : Closed Labor Day weekend
  • Mon., Sep. 2 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 12 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Oct. 10 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
View all holiday closings

Photo of Bushrod Library


  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Bicycle rack
  • Scanner
  • Street parking (free)
  • Electrical outlets available

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Upcoming Events

Games: Unplugged

Mon, Aug 26, 3:00 P.M.

Games and cards available for use. No electricity required. Come join the fun! Children ages 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult…

Storytime Jr.

Wed, Aug 28, 11:00 A.M.

. Reading fun for your little one! Preschool-level stories. An adult caregiver must be present. Groups must call to make an appointment…

Make Me!!

Wed, Aug 28, 1:00 P.M.

It could be an ART program; it might be a CRAFT to try; maybe we'll be BUILDING something. No matter the activity-, you're sure to have…

4-H Science Club

Wed, Aug 28, 3:00 P.M.

Science fun made possible through a partnership with Philadelphia County Penn State Extension. Children ages 7 and under must be accompanied by an…

Flash-Fiction Club/Micro-Fiction Dare

Thu, Aug 29, 3:00 P.M.

Want to try writing a story of your own on the spot in 50 words or less? Come on, we dare you! For Teens and Tweens. Groups must call to make…

Summer of Wonder End of Season PARTY!

Thu, Aug 29, 4:00 P.M.

Come help us bring things to a close! Final drawings will be held...and a Surprise Entertainer will pay us a visit. Children ages 7 and under…

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Serving the communities of Oxford Circle, Castor Gardens, Upper Northwood, Summerdale, and the Lower Northeast.


The Bushrod Branch owes its genesis to Philadelphia eye surgeon and humanitarian Dr. Bushrod Washington James. Dr. James acquired his skills as an eye surgeon as attending physician at the Northern Home for Friendless Children, and later went on to found the Bushrod Home. He helped thousands of poor children and adults at the Institute, treating many of them without being paid for his services. A pacifist, Dr. James served as a medic at the Battle of Antietam. After the Civil War, he crusaded for women's suffrage and wrote a book on the topic. He also wrote extensively on medicine and travel.

Dr. James died in 1903, leaving a will with specific instructions for the founding of the Bushrod library at his residence on Green Street near Logan Square. In 1948, the trustees received permission to transfer Dr. James' endowment to a new library that would be built in Northeast Philadelphia.

Known as Oxford Circle, the area served by the Bushrod branch was mostly farmland until the 1930's. Residential development began to take root after the opening of the Frankford Elevated and the Tacony Palmyra Bridge in the 1920's. By the time the library was built, Oxford Circle was a well-established residential community with two newly built elementary schools.

The Bushrod Branch opened its doors on October 25, 1950. It was the first newly constructed branch in the Free Library system since the completion of the Central Library in 1927. The library offered two floors with reading rooms for the public, and, in accordance with Dr. James' bequest, a special room devoted to use by children. Today, the Bushrod Room is used for story hours and other children's programming.

The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library.