Fishtown Community Library

Thursday, December 1 – Message from Staff

Help animals in need this winter! Fishtown Community Library is teaming up with Fishtails Animal Rescue. Item donations can be made at the library under our "Kitten Tree" (instead of a "Mitten Tree," get it?).
Donations can also be made through or their Amazon or Chewy wishlists!

1217 East Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125-3445
Montgomery Ave. & Flora St.
Open today until 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12/4 Closed
Monday, 12/5 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 12/6 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. *
Wednesday, 12/7 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, 12/8 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 12/9 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12/10 Closed
  • * Tuesday had hour changes – Due to staff shortage. Materials pick up services offered 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. today.
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Sun., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Mon., Dec. 26 : Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
  • Sun., Jan. 1 : Closed New Year's Day
  • Mon., Jan. 2 : Closed New Year's Day (Observed)
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

Legal Assistance Information Table

Thu, December 8, 2022 3:00 P.M.

 Stop by and see what resources Philadelphia Legal Assistance may be able to provide to you and your family including Public benefits, Tax Support, Child Custody, Housing, and more. …

Read, Baby, Read Storytime

Fri, December 9, 2022 10:30 A.M.

Join us for our Read, Baby, Read story time! Songs, books, and shaker eggs; what more could a toddler want? Geared for ages 0-2, but older are welcome. We will be meeting on the third floor…

Book Club for Adults

Wed, December 14, 2022 7:00 P.M.

The Fishtown Community Library Adult Book Club plans to read the book The World That Made New Orleans From Spanish Silver To Congo Square by Ned Sublette. Please meet me at the following link…

Read, Baby, Read Storytime

Fri, December 16, 2022 10:30 A.M.

Join us for our Read, Baby, Read story time! Songs, books, and shaker eggs; what more could a toddler want? Geared for ages 0-2, but older are welcome. We will be meeting on the third floor…


Located in a former stable and fire station, the Fishtown Community Branch serves Fishtown, East Kensington, and Olde Richmond.


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.