Fishtown Community Library

1217 East Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125-3445
Montgomery Ave. & Flora St.
Closed Today
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

  • Mon., Sep. 2 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 5 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
  • Mon., Oct. 14 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Mon., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
View all holiday closings


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

Upcoming Events

Read, Baby, Read Storytime!

Mon, July 22, 2024 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.…

Queer Film Club

Mon, July 22, 2024 4:30 P.M.

Join us for a screening of Bottoms , a raunchy comedy focused on two high school senior girls who start fight club as a way to hook up with cheerleaders. Come for the queer representation,…

English Conversation Group

Tue, July 23, 2024 5:45 P.M.

Build your confidence in speaking English while meeting other adults in a casual learning environment. No registration is required. This group is for intermediate/advanced English speakers and is…

Storytime Adventures!

Thu, July 25, 2024 10:30 A.M.

Join Miss Liz for  Storytime Adventures on Thursday mornings at 10:30am, where we'll explore a new theme each week! Stay after storytime for playtime. Intended for…


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.