Katharine Drexel Library

11099 Knights Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-3516
(Knights & Fairdale Rds.)
215-685-9383

Open today until 6:00 p.m.

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 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., May. 17 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., May. 28 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Thu., Jun. 21 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Wed., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Thu., Jul. 19 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
View all holiday closings

Photo of Katharine Drexel Library

Facilities

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

Location

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Upcoming Events

Paint Nite at the Library

Wed, May 2, 2018 6:00 P.M.

Kids Ages 6-12 are invited to start spring with a creative twist. Paint your own canvas masterpiece to decorate your room or give as a gift. Space is limited you must pre-register for this event. Unfortuantely younger siblings cannot accompany participants.

School Age Arts and Crafts Programs Art Children

Rain Check Workshop

Wed, June 27, 2018 6:00 P.M.

Come to this workshop to learn how you can get a free rain barrel from Philadelphia Water! Reduced pricing for downspout planters, rain gardens, depaving, and permeable pavers will also be offered. PWD’s Rain Check program gives Philadelphia residents an opportunity to reduce pollution…

Adult Other Great Programs Environment & Nature

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.