Public Transportation Directions to Charles Santore Library
Charles Santore Library
By Appointment services available - call to schedule
Friday, February 19 – Message from Staff
Charles Santore Library is now offering hold pickup, materials return and in-person services to our patrons:
In-Person Services - The library is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00pm to 4:00pm for in-person browsing and public computer usage. There is a capacity of 10 patrons at a time, and a 30 minute limit for your stay in the building. Computer reservations are limited to 30 minutes.
Material Returns - Library materials may be returned Monday through Friday, 10:00am-4:00pm in our outdoor dropbox only. Please do not bring items you are returning into the branch. Materials will be checked in 3 days after they are returned.
Phone Reference - Staff are onsite to answer phone queries Monday through Friday, 10:00am-4:00pm. Call (215) 686-1766 for assistance.
Curbside Pickup - Available holds can be picked up by appointment only:
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am-12:00pm
Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00am-12:00pm & 1:30pm-4:00pm.
You can place your holds online or via phone, and when the items become available you can set up a pickup appointment with us by calling (215) 686-1766.
Formerly the Southwark Branch, the library was renamed in 2004 to honor political leader Charles Santore. Located a short distance from the Italian Market, the library serves the South Philadelphia communities of Bella Vista, Queen Village, and Hawthorne.
Initially named Wicaco, Southwark is the oldest settlement in Philadelphia. King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden granted a charter for settlement in 1638, and Swedish settlers were already established before William Penn's arrival. The Southwark district was created in 1762, named after a neighborhood in London. In the 1960's, the district became known as Queen Village.
The original Southwark Library was a Carnegie Building located at 5th and Ellsworth on land donated by the Young Man's Institute. It opened on November 15, 1912.
The Library opened in its current location on November 1, 1963. It was renovated in 1998 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and ensured Internet access.
The library was re-named on March 26, 2004 to honor Charles Santore. A South Philadelphia native born in 1910, Santore was a former boxer, Republican ward leader, and founder of Municipal Employees Union Local 696. At the time of his death he was the oldest active ward leader in any party.
The library is a short distance from the Italian Market on 9th Street. There is a lovely courtyard, accessible from the children's room, which is perfect for relaxed reading.