Bushrod Library

6304 Castor Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19149-2731
Castor Ave. & Stirling St.
Open today until 7:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., May. 9 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
  • Mon., May. 27 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Thu., Jun. 13 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
  • Wed., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
View all holiday closings

Facilities

  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Scanner
  • Street parking
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

Upcoming Events

Cooking with Ms. Keisha

Tue, April 16, 2024 3:30 P.M.

Learn about cooking and baking techniques by cooking a two course meal. Workshop will be taught by Keisha Prosser of Mobile Cooking Teachers. Space may be limited, no registration…

Read Baby Read Storytime

Thu, April 18, 2024 10:30 A.M.

Storytime for babies and toddlers aged 0-24 months. Join us for stories, songs, rhymes, and bounces! Read, Baby, Read is made possible by a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation.…

Intermediate English

Thu, April 18, 2024 11:00 A.M.

February 15 - June 6 Learn and practice English for daily communication in this in-person course taught by a Temple University graduate student. You will learn and practice English…

Let's Travel with The Geography Lady!

Tue, April 23, 2024 3:30 P.M.

Take a trip around the world from the comfort of the Library with The Geography Lady! This is an all ages family program. We'll visit a new destination each time! April 9 & 23, May 7 &…

About

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

History

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.