Charles L. Durham Library

3320 Haverford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2021
(34th St. & Haverford Ave.)
215-685-7436

Closed Today

Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Sep. 2 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 26 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Oct. 14 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Thu., Oct. 24 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
View all holiday closings

Photo of Charles L. Durham Library

Facilities

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

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Upcoming Events

WURD's Summer of Freedom Tour Returns to the Free Library!

Wed, Aug 7, 10:00 A.M.

Join WURD radio (96.1FM / 900AM) for a LIVE broadcast from the library, 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., as part of their annual Summer of Freedom…

Community Conversation with the 16th District

Mon, Aug 19, 12:00 P.M.

Pizza will be served!  All ages are welcome! Join officers from the 16th District for a Community Conversation. 

Community Conversation with the 16th District

Mon, Sep 16, 12:00 P.M.

Pizza will be served!  All ages are welcome! Join officers from the 16th District for a Community Conversation. 

Community Conversation with the 16th District

Mon, Oct 21, 12:00 P.M.

Pizza will be served!  All ages are welcome! Join officers from the 16th District for a Community Conversation. 

Community Conversation with the 16th District

Mon, Nov 18, 12:00 P.M.

Pizza will be served!  All ages are welcome! Join officers from the 16th District for a Community Conversation. 

Community Conversation with the 16th District

Mon, Dec 16, 12:00 P.M.

Pizza will be served!  All ages are welcome! Join officers from the 16th District for a Community Conversation. 

View all events

About

Formerly the Mantua Branch, the library was renamed in 1995 to honor Judge 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.