Katharine Drexel Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

Tuesday, January 19 – Message from Staff

Katharine Drexel Branch will open for limited public service, "Grab and Go", on Wednesday January 20, 2021 from 1:00 to 4:30 pm.

Masks are required and social distancing protocols will be enacted.

These hours will be repeated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Limited services include: "Grab and Go" of reserved items and of items of interest on the shelves.

Two public use PCs will be available but there will be no one on one computer assistance available. If you need help using a PC please bring someone with you who can help you.

All items should be placed in one of our return boxes located at either side of the bulding.  Access during the "Grab and Go" hours will be from the parking lot side.

11099 Knights Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-3516
Knights & Fairdale Rds.
By Appointment Today
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

  • Mon., Feb. 15 : Closed Presidents' Day
  • Fri., Apr. 2 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Apr. 4 : Closed Easter
  • Mon., May. 31 : Closed Memorial Day
View all holiday closings

Services By Appointment

Services

Facilities

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

About

Located near the Franklin Mills Mall, this branch serves the communities of Normandy, North and West Torresdale, Morrell Park, Millbrook, Parkwood, Crestmont Farms,

History

As late as the 1950's, the area served by the Katharine Drexel Branch was mostly lush farmland and open space. This otherwise unremarkable rural area was the birthplace of Benjamin Rush, the renowned Revolutionary War physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

In 1954, the city opened the area to development, and the rapid construction of housing followed, transforming the area into typical Philadelphia neighborhoods of row homes, recreation centers and schools. 1989 saw the opening of the Franklin Mills Mall, the largest privately financed project in city history.

The Katharine Drexel branch of the Free Library opened its doors on September 24, 1969. There were so many requests for books and information that it was impossible to count them accurately.

The branch was dedicated in November of that same year to Mary Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphia heiress who founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, an order devoted to the education of African American and Native American children. Mother Drexel was named a saint of the Roman Catholic Church on October 1, 2000. Look for her portrait in the entrance of the branch.

Also look for the teakwood sculpture, The Reading Bench by Evelyn Keyser. In a tribute to the Free Library’s commitment to literacy, this work depicts a mother and child reading together.

The library was renovated in 2000 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library.