The Katharine Drexel Library is temporarily closed.

Katharine Drexel Library

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

Library is temporarily closed.

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Upcoming Events

Virtual Read Aloud & Write!

Mon, Jul 13, 3:30 P.M.
Katharine Drexel Library

Read Aloud & Write! Listen to a fun read aloud book along with suggestions and samples of writing activities kids can try at home! Topics…

Virtual Storytime with Penny the Bunny

Tue, Jul 14, 10:00 A.M.
Katharine Drexel Library

Look out for Virtual Storytime with Penny the Bunny on Tuesday mornings at 10:00! You'll find it on our Facebook Page: Katharine Drexel Branch…

Virtual Pajama Storytime with Walt the Bear

Wed, Jul 15, 6:00 P.M.
Katharine Drexel Library

Join us for stories and songs with Walt the Bear and Miss Carole before bedtime, Wednesdays at 6 PM! You'll find it on our Facebook Page:…

Virtual Read Aloud & Write!

Mon, Jul 20, 3:30 P.M.
Katharine Drexel Library

Read Aloud & Write! Listen to a fun read aloud book along with suggestions and samples of writing activities kids can try at home! Topics…

Virtual Storytime with Penny the Bunny

Tue, Jul 21, 10:00 A.M.
Katharine Drexel Library

Look out for Virtual Storytime with Penny the Bunny on Tuesday mornings at 10:00! You'll find it on our Facebook Page: Katharine Drexel Branch…

Virtual Pajama Storytime with Walt the Bear

Wed, Jul 22, 6:00 P.M.
Katharine Drexel Library

Join us for stories and songs with Walt the Bear and Miss Carole before bedtime, Wednesdays at 6 PM! You'll find it on our Facebook Page:…

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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.