Greater Olney Library

5501 North 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19120-2805
(5th St. and Tabor Rd.)
215-685-2846

Open today 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 12/9 Closed
Monday, 12/10 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 12/11 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 12/12 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 12/13 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
Friday, 12/14 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12/15 Closed
  • * Thursday has hour changes – Due to staff development.
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 Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Dec. 13 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Tue., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Tue., Jan. 1 : Closed New Year's Day
  • Thu., Jan. 10 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Jan. 21 : Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
View all holiday closings

Photo of Greater Olney Library

Facilities

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

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Upcoming Events

Yoga

Mon, Dec 10, 4:30 P.M.

Stretch and breathe deeply in preparation for the week ahead 

Moss Rehab Presents...

Tue, Dec 11, 10:30 A.M.

This is a 3-series event. Come for one or all! Topics include: Arthritis, Falls and Balance, and a Fall Risk Screening. Presented by Moss…

Yoga

Mon, Dec 17, 4:30 P.M.

Stretch and breathe deeply in preparation for the week ahead 

Moss Rehab Presents...

Tue, Jan 8, 10:30 A.M.

This is a 3-series event. Come for one or all! Topics include: Arthritis, Falls and Balance, and a Fall Risk Screening. Presented by Moss…

Book Discussion: Ghost Boys

Wed, Feb 6, 3:30 P.M.

Sit down at your local library to discuss social injustice and its role in Jewell Parker Rhodes’ novel, Ghost Boys .   Reading the book…

Get on the Bus!

Wed, Mar 13, 3:30 P.M.

Children will read Last Stop on Market Street , discuss their own bus experiences, and create 3D paper buses to drive along a large map of…

View all events

About

Located in the 5th street shopping district, one block south of Olney Avenue. We serve the diverse Olney community with materials in many languages.

History

The Olney community derives its name from the home of Alexander Wilson, which stood from 1840 to 1924 east of Rising Sun Avenue overlooking Tacony Creek. Wilson chose the name "Olney" for his home because he admired the poet Cowper of Olney, England, composer of the famous Olney Hymns of the Methodist Church.

City maps of 1847 show the town of Olney consisting of three main roads and a community of farms. The main highways were the Kensington-Oxford Turnpike (now Rising Sun Avenue), Olney Road (now Tabor Road) and Clinton Street (now Mascher Street). The modern name for Tabor Road comes from the Tabor rail station, opened in 1873 to serve the Jewish Hospital.

The idea of public libraries in Olney began before 1860. A free library existed as a one-story stone building built circa 1858 at what is now Lima and B Street. The building was never quite completed and was abandoned after a few years of decay.

In 1876, another free library was established a short distance above what is now 5318 Rising Sun Avenue. It was used by residents of Unionville, Crescentville, Cedar Grove and Olney. (This might be the source for the Greater portion of the Greater Olney name.) That library survived for about 25 years.

The Kiwanis Club and the Olney Community Council began working together in 1945 to develop a branch library. These efforts came to fruition when the Greater Olney Branch opened in the former Olney Bank and Trust Company building on October 1949 at 5th Street and Tabor Road. The library was renovated in 1997 as part of the Free Library's "Changing Lives" campaign.