Kingsessing Library

1201 South 51st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143-4353
(5lst St. between Kingsessing and Chester Avenues)

Open today 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, 12/4 Closed
Monday, 12/5 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 12/6 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 12/7 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
Thursday, 12/8 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, 12/9 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12/10 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Wednesday had hour changes – Due to a lack of staff.
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Dec. 22: Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Fri., Dec. 23: Closing at 3:00 PM preparation for the Christmas Day holiday
  • Sat., Dec. 24: Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
  • Sun., Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day
  • Mon., Dec. 26: Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
View all holiday closings

Photo of Kingsessing Library


  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Meeting space (reservation required)
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking (free)
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)


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Nearby Branches

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Upcoming Events

Beginner Reading Classes for Adults

Tue, Dec 13, 11:00 A.M.

The Friends of Kingsessing Library sponsor an Adult Beginners Reading Class that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  New students must call…

Movie Day: Home Alone

Tue, Dec 13, 4:00 P.M.

Fun for the whole family. Snacks and hot chocolate will be served.

Minor Threats Chess Club

Tue, Dec 13, 4:30 P.M.

The Minor Threats Chess Club for students ages 7 to 17, meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, email

Affordable Care Act: Open Enrollment Period 2016-17

Wed, Dec 14, 11:00 A.M.

Having trouble getting healthcare? The Free Library is here to help! You might qualify for new options, and now is the time to sign up! Open…

Legal Health Check-up Day

Wed, Dec 14, 11:00 A.M.

Join us from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m . for Legal Health Check-up Day at the Kingsessing Library! This is an opportunity to ask legal questions or…

Beginner Reading Classes for Adults

Thu, Dec 15, 11:00 A.M.

The Friends of Kingsessing Library sponsor an Adult Beginners Reading Class that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  New students must call…

View all events


Located nearbythe Kingsessing Recreation Center, this branch serves the Kingsessing neighborhood. The building is a half block south of Chester Avenue.


Kingsessing gets its name from the Indian word Chincessing, meaning "bog meadow" or "place of the big shells." This name was applied by the Dutch and the Swedes to the whole region along the west bank of the lower Schuylkill River. First officially mentioned in 1667, Kingsessing was the first village within the territory of Philadelphia.

The township of Kingsessing became a part of Philadelphia in 1854. At that time, the Belmont Cricket Club Playing Field occupied the land on which the library and recreation center now sit.

Kingsessing Branch opened on November 29, 1919, the 22nd library in Philadelphia to be constructed with Carnegie funds. The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which refurbished branches and brought Internet service to every library.

While you're in the neighborhood, you can visit Bartram's Garden at 54th and Lindbergh Boulevard. Established by John Bartram in 1730, it’s now the oldest botanical garden in the country. Also of interest is the Satterlee Military Hospital at 45th and Baltimore Avenue. Built before the Civil War, it was once the largest military hospital in the world.

Featured Programs & Services

Public Transportation

Bus Routes: 12, 52, 64, G
Subway/Surface: 11, 13, 34, 36
Regional Rail: R3