Kensington Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

104 West Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133-3701
Hope & Dauphin Sts.
By Appointment Today
Sunday Closed
Monday By Appointment
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday By Appointment
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Friday By Appointment
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Sep. 6 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 11 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Thu., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 25 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
View all holiday closings


  • Book drop box
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Scanner
  • Street parking
  • Street parking (free)
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Bicycle rack

Upcoming Events

Virtual Spanish Conversation Group--Grupo de conversación en español

Mon, July 26, 2021 4:00 P.M.

Has your Spanish gotten rusty? Do you have nagging questions about grammar and vocabulary? Join the Free Library for a virtual program to practice conversing in Spanish, pick up new vocabulary,…

Virtual English Conversation Group

Tue, July 27, 2021 10:00 A.M.

Join us for a free conversation circle. Build your confidence in speaking English while meeting other international adults in a casual learning environment. Class is currently full - for more…

Games in the Park

Tue, July 27, 2021 1:00 P.M.

The Kensington Library is partnering with Penn State Extension and Congreso this summer to bring a board games, books, and activities to Norris Square Park! Come out and meet us in the Northeast…

Creative Expressions: Open Mic & More

Wed, July 28, 2021 3:00 P.M.

Love doing poerty, puppetry, music, movement, more? Bring your talent to our online open mic! 4th Wednesdays at 3 PM--Share your talents! All ages; teens encouraged.  Register at…


Located near the York-Dauphin El station, the Kensington Branch serves Kensington, West Kensington, and Norris Square. ¡Bienvenidos! Libros, videos, revistas y música en español.



In the early 1700s, Anthony Palmer, an English businessman working in Barbados, purchased a large tract of land that he called Kensington after a suburb of London. Early residents were shipbuilders and fishermen, but by the 1830s Kensington had become the textile center of Philadelphia. In 1922, the Frankford elevated line began operation, passing through Kensington Avenue. The textile mills moved south by the end of the 1930s.

Kensington Branch was originally known as Frankford Avenue Branch, Branch Number 3 of the Free Library system. It opened on May 21, 1894 at 1856 Frankford Avenue. The name was changed to the Kensington Branch in 1900. In August 1902 it moved to an empty church building at 2055 East Dauphin Street where it remained for 51 years. In 1953, pending completion of plans for a new location, the agency moved to a small rented shop at 2508 North Front Street.

The current Kensington Branch opened on July 20, 1956. It was renovated in 1997 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library. When you visit, take a look at the mosaic in the meeting room. It was designed by Network Arts and created with the help of neighborhood children.