Katharine Drexel Library

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

Closed Today

Sunday Closed
Monday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 a.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., Aug. 17 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 21 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Oct. 9 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Thu., Oct. 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

Get Directions

Nearby Libraries

Support Katharine Drexel Library

Donate Now

Upcoming Events

Guided Reading for Early Grades

Mon, Jul 24, 12:30 P.M.

Meet with a certified teacher for some guided reading for early grades; Level K to entering 3rd grade. Appointmets are given as 20 minute…

Book Club

Mon, Jul 24, 6:30 P.M.

School-age children will write a book report on one of their summer reads and share it with the group. Pre-registration required

Science in the Summer 2017 - Science of Sports!

Tue, Jul 25, 10:00 A.M.

GSK Science in the Summer™  is a fun and free science education program sponsored by GSK and administered by The Franklin…

E-Gadget Help Desk

Tue, Jul 25, 3:30 P.M.

Need help with your phone, tablet, E-Reader, or laptop? Want to download E-books to read at home? Bring your device to our new E-Gadget Helpdesk!…

Block Building

Thu, Jul 27, 10:30 A.M.

Enjoy building with blocks at the library! For ages 3-5.

E-Gadget Help Desk

Thu, Jul 27, 3:30 P.M.

Need help with your phone, tablet, E-Reader, or laptop? Want to download E-books to read at home? Bring your device to our new E-Gadget Helpdesk!…

View all events

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.