Katharine Drexel Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

11099 Knights Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-3516
Knights & Fairdale Rds.
Closed Today
Sunday, 5/28 Closed
Monday, 5/29 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Closed *
Tuesday, 5/30 Closed
Wednesday, 5/31 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 6/1 Closed
Friday, 6/2 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 6/3 Closed
  • * Monday has hour changes – Memorial Day
Sunday Closed
Monday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday Closed
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Tue., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 9 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' Day
View all holiday closings


  • 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, June 5, 2023 12:00 P.M.

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

Jewelry Making for Teens and Adults-Summer Reading Kickoff

Mon, June 5, 2023 6:00 P.M.

Jewelry Making - During this class, you will learn some of the basic techniques and skills of working with different jewelry-making tools and materials, and then put those techniques to use in a…

The Secrets of Magic

Wed, June 7, 2023 6:00 P.M.

Join us for The Secrets of Magic! Witness objects appear, vanish, and transform! Magician and comedian Ran’D Shine performs magic tricks in this highly interactive show. All ages are…

Outdoor Storytime

Fri, June 9, 2023 10:30 A.M.

Join us for stories, songs, and fingerplays! Please note this program will be held in the covered area outside at the top of the steps by the Fairdale Road entrance. For children ages 3-5…


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


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.