Tacony Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

Tuesday, January 19 – Message from Staff

Beginning Wednesday, January 20, 2021:

Hours of in-person service will be:

Mondays 1:30-4:30

Wednesdays 1:30-4:30

Fridays 1:30-4:30

Services available:

In-person reference services, computer use, browsing of collection, in-person borrowing, in-person holds and reserves

Returns still accepted 24/7 in the book dropbox located outside the Knorr St entrance

Contactless pickup still available by appointment MWF mornings and all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Contactless printing of documents fewer than 10 pages available by appointment

Important things to know:

Building occupancy presently capped at 16 guests

Masks required

Access through Knorr St entrance only

Access to building limited to 30 minutes per guest

Minimal computer assistance available, because of social distancing concerns (staff cannot sit with someone at the computer)

All returned items are quarantined for 7 days before being removed from patron records

All items are presently being checked out for 3 weeks, including items marked “7 Day Loan”

Overdue fines have been eliminated

6742 Torresdale Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19135-2416
Torresdale Ave. & Knorr St.
By Appointment Today
Sunday Closed
Monday 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday By Appointment
Wednesday 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday By Appointment
Friday 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Feb. 15 : Closed Presidents' Day
  • Fri., Apr. 2 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Apr. 4 : Closed Easter
  • Mon., May. 31 : Closed Memorial Day
View all holiday closings

Services By Appointment



  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms


We are part of the transformational Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative. To find out more about this project - http://www.21stcenturylibraries.org/about-the-project


Swedish records of 1677 show 51 residents of "Taokanink," an Indian word for "woods" or "small creek." Since the area was along the Delaware river, it became a sparsely settled vacation community. This changed in 1872, when industrialist Henry Disston moved his sawmill from downtown Philadelphia to Tacony, transforming the area into a thriving industrial area. Disston provided housing for his employees and funded many community projects including the Tacony Music Hall on Longshore Avenue - a building that stands today.

The Tacony Library traces its roots back to the Keystone Scientific and Literary Association, founded in 1876 by M. Louise Thomas who envisioned "a library where the people could go and get books suited to all tastes . . . and a room . . . where they could sit with the books ranged round the walls." The Association met in a small frame schoolhouse, and later in the office of the New Era, a local paper. In addition to a small book collection, the Association also offered events such as spelling bees, and provided a forum for important speakers of the day, Susan B. Anthony and P.T. Barnum among them. In 1885, the Keystone Scientific and Literary Association changed its name to the Disston Library and Free Reading Room, and moved to the Music Hall.

In 1906, the Disston family bequeathed a plot of land at Torresdale Avenue and Knorr Street for the construction of a public library. With $43,380 from the Carnegie Foundation, the Tacony Branch opened on the evening of November 27, 1906. The new library reached a circulation of 70,000 in its initial year of operation.

Since its opening, the Tacony Branch has undergone extensive renovation. In 1927, the rear lecture room was remodeled and became the children's reading room. Additional renovations were undertaken in 1939 and 1959. The library was renovated again in 1998 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which brought Internet service to every branch. The Tacony branch celebrated its centenary in 2006.