Fox Chase Library

Services and hours are subject to change — please call in advance. Before you visit, please review our new COVID-19 guidelines.

501 Rhawn Street
Philadelphia, PA 19111-2504
Rhawn & Jeanes Sts.
Open today until 4:30 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday By Appointment
Wednesday 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday By Appointment
Friday 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Fri., Apr. 2 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Apr. 4 : Closed Easter
  • Mon., May. 31 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Sat., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
View all holiday closings

Facilities

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

About

We have resumed limited inside service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00 to 4:30. You can pick up holds, browse the collection, ur use the computers for a half hour. We ask patrons to keep visits brief for your safety and ours, and please note we have a limited building capacity so you may need to wait for other visitors to leave before you can safely enter. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times while inside the building. Please note all returns will take one week to clear from your account, as we have to quarantine items. If you are not ready to come inside, you can continue to place holds online or over the phone, and call us at 215-685-0547 to schedule a contact free pickup. Pickup hours are from 10-12 and 1:30-4 Tuesdays and Thursdays. Don't forget to check out our social media feeds on Facebook and Instagram for our latest virtual programs!

History

The Fox Chase area was originally settled by Swedes who sailed up the Pennypack Creek around 1645 and built a blockhouse as protection against the Lenni Lenape Indians. English colonists later took over the settlement and the blockhouse, which became part of a large country residence named the Ury House. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and John James Audubon were entertained there.

Fox Chase Hotel, built in the 18th century, was a favorite gathering place for fox hunters. By the 19th century, the area was full of farms and summer estates, becoming a part of Philadelphia in 1854.

In October 1951, volunteers and members of the Fox Chase Civic League renovated the first floor of an old school building at Rhawn and Jeanes streets for a library. However, by the mid-60's, the library had outgrown the old building. Half the books were stored away and there was only enough room for a few tables and chairs.

The Friends of the Fox Chase Library worked hard to get a new library put in the city's capital budget. In 1967, the old school was torn down and a trailer provided temporary library service. All the effort paid off on August 26, 1968 when the new library opened. The branch was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branch libraries and brought Internet access to every library.

When you visit the library, take a look at the garden. You'll find "The Three Bears," a stone sculpture by artist and author George Papashvily.