Katharine Drexel Library

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

Photography: Taking Pictures With Your Phone scheduled for Wednesday June 28th at 6 pm has been cancelled, we apologize for this inconvenience . 

We are rescheduling this program; Please join us on Wedesday July 5th at 6 pm for Photography: Taking Pictures With Your Phone,  The subject, silhouettes, shadows, reflections, and camera angles.

The Free Library's Summer Hours begin this week.  We are now open Monday through Friday.

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

  • Tue., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Thu., Jul. 20 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • 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.
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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Nearby Libraries

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Upcoming Events

E-Gadget Help Desk

Tue, Jun 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!…

Board Game Wednesday

Wed, Jun 28, 3:00 P.M.

Bring a friend or compete with new friends at Scrabble, Boggle, chess, and checkers. For ages 5-12.

Gardening for Pollinators

Wed, Jun 28, 6:00 P.M.

Penn State Extension Master Gardener Kathleen Halus will teach us how to attract pollinators - like bees, butterflies, and other wildlife - …

E-Gadget Help Desk

Thu, Jun 29, 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!…

E-Gadget Help Desk

Thu, Jul 6, 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!…

Monday Movie Nights

Mon, Jul 10, 6:00 P.M.

Summer Reading participants are invited to watch a current video release with their families. For children ages 5-12 and their caregivers

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.