Katharine Drexel Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

Monday, July 19 – Message from Staff

Katharine Drexel Branch will continue to be open for limited public service on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:00 to 4:30 pm.

Social distancing protocols will continue to be followed.

Masks are strongly encouraged inside Library buildings, You must wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated, and are strongly encouraged to double mask indoors. Children under the age of 12 must also wear a mask. 

We have public use PCs 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.

Library access can now be made from both the parking lot and Fairdale Road entrances. 

Absolutely no donated materials, please. 

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., Sep. 6 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 11 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Thu., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 25 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
View all holiday closings

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)

Upcoming Events

Grab and Go Craft Bags

Mon, August 9, 2021 2:00 P.M.

Visit the library on select Mondays this summer to pick up a Grab & Go Craft bag for children in K-5th grade! Supplies are limited and are first-come, first-served.

Virtual Storytime with Penny the Bunny

Tue, August 10, 2021 10:00 A.M.

Virtual Storytime: Enjoy stories and songs with Penny the Bunny and Miss Carole in our pre-recorded storytime posted on select Tuesday mornings at 10:00! Find us on the Katharine Drexel Branch…

Virtual Pajama Storytime with Walt the Bear

Wed, August 25, 2021 6:00 P.M.

Virtual Pajama Storytime: Enjoy stories and songs with Walt the Bear and Miss Carole in our pajama storytime posted on the last Wednesday evening of the month at 6:00! Find us on…

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.