Oak Lane Library

Monday, March 6 – Message from Staff

Our elevator is temporarily out of service due to needed repairs. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

6614 North 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19126-3299
12th St. & Oak Lane
Open today 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Fri., Apr. 7 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Apr. 9 : Closed Easter
  • Thu., Apr. 20 : Opening at 2:00 PM due to staff development
  • Thu., May. 18 : Opening at 2:00 PM due to staff development
View all holiday closings


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

Upcoming Events

Hip Hop Fundamentals

Fri, March 24, 2023 3:30 P.M.

Attendees will amaze themselves as they learn basic moves and create their own choreography by exploring the American form of breakdancing with Hip Hop Fundamentals.  Created in the 1970s by…

Percussion Around the World

Fri, March 31, 2023 12:15 P.M.

Using a world map, children will be taken on an interactive musical journey, traveling country to country while exploring various cultures.  By way of the drum - one of the world's…

Bibliophiles Reading Group

Wed, April 5, 2023 2:00 P.M.

The Oak Lane Bibliophiles is an adult book club that meets at the library every other month.  For April we will be discussing Diane McKinney-Whetstone's locally-set novel …

Jazz Appreciation Month Concert With The Robin Clabby Sextet

Tue, April 18, 2023 6:30 P.M.

The Robin Clabby Sextet is an original funk and soul jazz ensemble performing original music off of Robin's album "Revolve" as well as a few classics by artists like Grover…


Serving the community of Oak Lane, which is east of Broad Street at the city's northern border.


The neighborhood's earliest settlers arrived in 1697, when Griffith Miles and several Welsh families came to settle and farm. Miles built a log cabin in the vicinity of Old York Road and Haines Street. The area became known as Milestown in 1711.

After farming began to flourish, water power from streams was used to operate mills. The products of the mills were sold in the surrounding communities.

In 1761, Joseph Armitage built a school on the site of the present Ellwood School - a plot of land on the north side of Oak Lane, between 12th and 13th Streets. Subsequently, three larger schools were built on the site to accommodate the growing population. The name changed from the Armitage School to the Milestown School, and finally to the Ellwood School.

The name Oak Lane comes from a beloved, large oak tree that stood on the property of Hall W. Mercer, who lived on Martin's Mill Road. After the tree blew down during a storm in 1860, Mercer changed the name of the road to Oak Lane.

The Oak Lane Library was built in 1910-11 with the combined efforts of the Ladies Review Club of Oak Lane, the Library Association, and funding from Andrew Carnegie. During the Great Depression, a Friends of Oak Lane Library group formed in order to provide book funds until budgets were restored by City Council.

In 1958, the newly rehabilitated Oak Lane Branch held an open house, and a new "Friends" group formed, sponsoring lectures and purchasing materials. The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which brought Internet service to every library.