Katharine Drexel Library

11099 Knights Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-3516
Knights & Fairdale Rds.
Open today 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
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

  • Sun., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Mon., Dec. 26 : Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
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

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance

Fri, December 2, 2022 1:30 P.M.

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance Meet with a Community Workforce Connector from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for one-on-one job search assistance. Get individualized support with…

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance

Fri, December 16, 2022 1:30 P.M.

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance Meet with a Community Workforce Connector from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for one-on-one job search assistance. Get individualized support with…

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance

Fri, January 13, 2023 1:30 P.M.

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance Meet with a Community Workforce Connector from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for one-on-one job search assistance. Get individualized support with…

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance

Fri, January 27, 2023 1:30 P.M.

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance Meet with a Community Workforce Connector from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for one-on-one job search assistance. Get individualized support with…

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.