Kensington Library

104 West Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133-3701
(Hope & Dauphin Sts.)
215-685-9996 (out of order)

Open today 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Jan. 20 : Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Thu., Feb. 6 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Feb. 17 : Closed Presidents' Day
  • Thu., Mar. 5 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Apr. 2 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
View all holiday closings

Photo of Kensington Library

Facilities

  • Book drop box
  • Change machine
  • Computer lab
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Scanner
  • Street parking
  • Street parking (free)
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

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Upcoming Events

Let's Speak English! for International Adults

Sat, Jan 18, 11:00 A.M.

Meet other adult English learners for conversation. Topics may involve small talk, holidays, customs, and common slang. Practice in a casual…

Minecraft Day

Tue, Jan 21, 3:00 P.M.

Come join us for Minecraft Day at the Kensington Neighborhood Library. We've been collaboratively building cities in our very own realm! Work…

Toddler Storytime

Wed, Jan 22, 10:30 A.M.

Explore stories and activities that help prepare children for reading, school, and life! Children are encouraged to sing along and play in the…

Role-Playing Game Club

Wed, Jan 22, 3:30 P.M.

Join us every Wednesday from 3:30 - 5:20 as you and your group of adventurers go on daring quests in search of treasure and glory. The only thing…

Creative Expressions: Open Mic 2020

Wed, Jan 22, 3:30 P.M.

Perform your own writing or someone else's! Sing, dance, act! All levels of experience welcome. Sign up via…

Nintendo Fridays

Fri, Jan 24, 3:00 P.M.

Come join us every Friday after school for Nintendo Fridays! We play games like Smash Bros, Mario Party, and Just Dance. Open to kids and teens…

View all events

About

Located near the York-Dauphin El station, the Kensington Branch serves Kensington, West Kensington, and Norris Square. Bienvenidos! Libros en espanol.

NOTE: Our phone lines are temporarily out of order. To get in touch with the branch, please send a message through our Facebook page or email branch manager Sara Palmer: palmers at freelibrary dot org.

History

In the early 1700's, 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 1830's 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.