Charles L. Durham Library

Friday, April 30 – Message from Staff

The Charles L. Durham Neighborhood Library is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Visits to the library must be restricted to 30 minutes or less.

Available In-Person Services: patrons may pick up their material holds, browse the collection, use a computer for 30 minutes, or use the public restroom.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all customers must wear a mask inside the library at all times. Thank you for your cooperation.

Before you visit, call us to make sure we are open on the day of your visit at 215-685-7436. Also, please follow us on Facebook for updates on virtual programs, including One Book One Philadelphia, and Summer of Wonder. 

3320 Haverford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2021
34th St. & Haverford Ave.
Closed Today
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Thursday Closed
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., May. 31 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Sat., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Sun., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Jul. 5 : Closed Independence Day (Observed)
View all holiday closings

Facilities

  • Baby changing station
  • Book drop box
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Street parking
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Computers for public use
  • Public restrooms
  • Scanner

About

Formerly the Mantua Branch, the library was renamed in 1995 to honor Judge Charles L. Durham. Serving the Mantua and Powelton communities, the library is located near the Drexel University campus and the Philadelphia Zoo.

History

Part of this neighborhood was purchased from the Lenni Lenape Indians in 1677 by William Warner. In 1692, a young Welsh carpenter, William Powel, opened a ferry over the Schuylkill River at the foot of the present Spring Garden Bridge. Lancaster Pike and Haverford Road were the first routes providing access from the west.

Mantua was named in 1809 by Judge Richard Peters, who designed a grid of lots with 36th St. and Haverford Ave. as the center. He named the area for a city in Italy.

Powelton was named for the family of William Powell, whose son purchased additional land. By the mid-1880's, Powelton was a fashionable area, becoming part of Philadelphia after the Consolidation Act of 1854.

Designed as part of the multipurpose Mantua Community Center, the Mantua library branch opened July 9, 1979. The building also includes a Department of Recreation gymnasium, a community office and a meeting room.

The branch was renamed the Charles L. Durham Free Library in 1995. Born in Mantua, Durham served on City Council from 1967 to 1974, when he was appointed to the Common Pleas Court. He a strong advocate for the community, and was deeply involved in the struggle for civil rights and was part of the first black caucus on Council.

The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and ensured Internet access.