Falls of Schuylkill Library

3501 Midvale Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1633
(Warden Dr. & Midvale Ave.)
215-685-2093

Now open on Saturdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.!

Music & Movement Time | Tuesdays at 10:15 a.m.

Babies and toddlers will enjoy a parent-led music and dance storytime.  Children will play maracas, shake pom poms, dance, and listen to music and dance-themed books.  Come tire out your little ones and meet local parents.  Groups and Daycares should call the library to set up your own special visits. 

Open today 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday Closed
Monday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Oct. 8 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Thu., Oct. 11 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Nov. 8 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Sun., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 22 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
View all holiday closings

Photo of Falls of Schuylkill Library

Facilities

  • Baby changing station
  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking (free)
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Street parking (metered)

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Upcoming Events

Read With A Dog!

Mon, Sep 24, 4:15 P.M.

School age kids are invited to come read with Orchid, a certified therapy dog, and share a new book or an old favorite in a…

Read With A Dog!

Mon, Oct 1, 4:15 P.M.

School age kids are invited to come read with Wally, a certified therapy dog, and share a new book or an old favorite in a…

Read With A Dog!

Mon, Oct 15, 4:15 P.M.

School age kids are invited to come read with Wally, a certified therapy dog, and share a new book or an old favorite in a…

This Is What Democracy Sings Like

Mon, Oct 15, 6:00 P.M.

Join Singing City as they bring a choral message of love, and sing songs inspired by democratic traditions of activism, community engagement, and…

Storytime and Block Play

Thu, Oct 18, 11:00 A.M.

Stories and songs followed by playtime with our wooden blocks.  Recommended for ages 2 to 6, accompanied by an adult; siblings are…

Read With A Dog!

Mon, Oct 22, 4:15 P.M.

School age kids are invited to come read with Orchid, a certified therapy dog, and share a new book or an old favorite in a…

View all events

About

Located at the intersection of Midvale Avenue, Warden Drive, and Conrad Street, the Falls of Schuylkill Branch has a lovely garden tended by volunteers. The branch serves the community of East Falls with a variety of programs for all ages.

History

Industrial activity marked the early history of the Schuylkill River and nearby waterways. Even before the fishery of Fort St. Davids was established by Welshmen at the Falls of the Schuylkill in 1734, other settlers were building mills along the Wissahickon and the Falls Creeks.

Don't bother trying to find the Schuylkill Falls themselves, however. The Fairmount Dam, constructed in 1822, raised the river's water level and obliterated the rapids. The area near the present library was a brewery from 1873 to 1894. After it fell into disrepair, the springs turned it into a swimming hole.

The first library in East Falls opened on June 1, 1901 as a Deposit Station on the second floor of the Old Academy, the first community center in Philadelphia. It was built in 1819 as a place of education and worship. Since 1932, the building has been used as a theater, and was the scene of Grace Kelly's acting debut.

Featuring English Collegiate architecture, the current library opened on November 18, 1913. The building was funded by Andrew Carnegie, and the land was donated by William H. Merrick and the Warden Estate. The library was renovated in 1997 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and ensured Internet access.

Atop the library, you'll see a catfish weathervane on the cupola. The preschool center also features a catfish. They are symbols of the thousands of catfish that thronged the Schuylkill River two centuries ago, when East Falls was known as Fort St. Davids. One fisherman in the 1830's caught 3,000 in one night with his dip net. Catfish and waffles were a popular meal in the inns and taverns that surrounded the river.

While you visit, take a look at the beautiful garden outside the library. It has been maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers since the late 1980's.