Fishtown Community Library

1217 East Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125-3445
Montgomery Ave. & Flora St.
Open today 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Dec. 7 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
  • Mon., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Thu., Jan. 4 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
  • Thu., Feb. 1 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
View all holiday closings

Services By Appointment



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

Upcoming Events

SAGA Club: Sexuality and Gender Awareness

Thu, November 30, 2023 3:00 P.M.

Queer or questioning and looking for community?  Join us each week for games, crafts, and conversation.  Allies welcome.  For youth in grades 7-12.  

Read, Baby, Read Storytime!

Mon, December 4, 2023 11:30 A.M.

Join Miss Liz for  Read, Baby, Read storytime on Monday mornings at 11:30am. Stay after storytime for playtime! Intended for babies and toddlers ages 0-2, but all are welcome.…

Teen Gaming

Tue, December 5, 2023 3:00 P.M.

Join us for video and board games. Feel free to bring your own games.  For youth in grades 7-12.  

Creative Greeting Card Making

Tue, December 5, 2023 4:30 P.M.

Design and craft your own one-of-a-kind greeting cards with Minna Aaparyti, local artist and owner of The Craft Foundry  We’ll explore color combinations, stamping techniques, and…


Welcome, friends!

The Fishtown Community Library serves Fishtown, East Kensington and Olde Richmond, as well as visitors from throughout the city of Philadelphia and surrounding region.

Fishtown staff provide free programming for all ages, including storytimes, English conversation groups, book clubs, afterschool activities and homework help as part of LEAP, and so much more! In the warmer months many programs are held outdoors in favorable weather.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see what we're up to!

Prefer an email newsletter? Sign up for our News from the Neighborhood monthly update!

Do you want to support our programs and services?  Make a donation to the Fishtown Community Library!


The history of Fishtown begins with the Lenape Native Americans, who called the area Shackamaxon. In the early 1600's, Swedes, German, Dutch and English settled on scattered plots of land, and on April 23, 1683, William Penn negotiated a land exchange to acquire Shackamaxon.

In the early 1700s, English businessman Anthony Palmer purchased a large tract of land that he named Kensington after a suburb of London. This was combined with Shackamaxon. The Consolidation Act of 1854 brought the area into the present city limits. Legend has it that Charles Dickens named the area Fishtown after seeing the fish sold in the open air farmer's market on Girard Avenue.

Open for business in 1947, the original Community Branch Library was located at 615 Girard Avenue. However, the building was soon torn down so that a police station could be built.

The library opened at its current location at East Montgomery Avenue and Flora Street on March 31, 1950. This building was built in 1895 as a stable, and was later used as a fire station for horse-drawn wagons. It was donated to the library by the city through the efforts of the Men's Organization of the Community League of Kensington, hence the initial name, Community Branch.

Reflecting neighborhood pride, the name was changed to Fishtown Community Branch in 1982. The library was renovated extensively in 1989, with the addition of a balcony, meeting room and elevator. Further renovations were completed in 1997 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet access to every library.