Kensington Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

104 West Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133-3701
Hope & Dauphin Sts.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., May. 31 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Sat., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Sun., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Jul. 5 : Closed Independence Day (Observed)
View all holiday closings

Services By Appointment

Services

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

Virtual Woof and Meow Café!

Wed, April 21, 2021 3:00 P.M.

Calling all young readers! Would you like to read to your own personal cat or dog audience? Then bring your favorite book and join us every Wednesday from 3-4PM! Each virtual reading session is…

Virtual PAWS for Reading: Read to a Therapy Dog

Wed, April 21, 2021 3:00 P.M.

Join us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 3:00-4:00 p.m. to read to a therapy animal friend from PAWS for people on a live video conference. Reading to a dog helps children develop…

Virtual PAWS for Reading: Read to a Therapy Dog

Thu, April 22, 2021 3:00 P.M.

Join us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 3:00-4:00 p.m. to read to a therapy animal friend from PAWS for people on a live video conference. Reading to a dog helps children develop…

Among Us

Thu, April 22, 2021 4:00 P.M.

Do you enjoy pretending to do routine tasks while sabotaging spaceships? Are you interested in playing Among Us with your friends? Come join us every Thursday from 4-4:45 PM for a special…

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.