Bushrod Library

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

Open today 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 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

  • Thu., Nov. 10: Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Fri., Nov. 11: Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 24: Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Thu., Dec. 8: Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Sun., Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day
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Upcoming Events

Snacking Like a President!

Tue, Nov 1, 4:00 P.M.

Did you know that George Washington loved hazelnuts, Thomas Jefferson adored vanilla ice cream, and Ronald Reagan enjoyed jelly beans?  Join…

Presidential Pets

Wed, Nov 9, 4:00 P.M.

President Jimmy Carter had a Siamese cat named Misty Milarky Ying Yang, and John F. Kennedy had a horse named Sardar! Join us as we discover more…

Make a Puzzle Book

Tue, Feb 21, 4:00 P.M.

Do you like being puzzled, or puzzling others?  Create your very own puzzle and game book.  First, participants will create their own…

Think in Pictures: A Scene-Building Activity

Mon, Feb 27, 4:00 P.M.

Some people think in words, but others think in pictures.  In this workshop, we will use Joan Steiner's Look-alikes books as insprations…

Expression and Connection: An Acting Workshop

Tue, Mar 7, 4:00 P.M.

The nature of acting is putting oneself in someone else's shoes.  Take part in a series of acting exercises that highlight teamwork, empathy,…

Make a Disappearing Box!

Fri, Mar 17, 4:00 P.M.

Draw inspiration from author, professor and autism advocate Temple Grandin's work in design and innovation.  Using a variety of paper…

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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.

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Public Transportation

Bus Routes: 59