Kensington Library

Services and hours are subject to change — please call in advance. Before you visit, please review our new COVID-19 guidelines.

104 West Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133-3701
Hope & Dauphin Sts.
Open today until 5:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 25 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Sat., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
View all holiday closings

Facilities

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

Upcoming Events

Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic 12-4

Wed, October 27, 2021 12:00 P.M.

Greetings! If you or someone you know hasn't gotten their COVID-19 vaccine yet, drop by the Kensington Library this Wednesday, October 6th from 12-4 PM for a free shot. No ID or insurance…

CareerLinkĀ® Job Search Help 2-4:30

Thu, October 28, 2021 2:00 P.M.

Looking to start a new career? PA Career Link will be offering one-on-one career counselling, resume building, and job search assistance at the Kensington Library on October 7, 14, 21 and 28 from…

Minecraft Day

Thu, October 28, 2021 3:30 P.M.

Come join us virtually for Minecraft Club, where up to eight players can play together on our very own Minecraft Realm! We will be hosting sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30PM - 5PM.…

Virtual English Conversation Group

Tue, November 2, 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…

About

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.

 

History

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.