Tacony Library

Friday, September 18 – Message from Staff

Tacony Library is available to serve you:

OPEN to the public: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 1:30-4:30.  Please enter through the sliding glass doors on the Knorr St side of the building.  Masks are required to enter the building, and you will have 30 minutes to complete your visit with us.  We have 7 computers available for 30 minute time slots.  You may browse the collection, pick up items that you have on reserve, ask reference questions, sign up for a library card, use the printer and copier, and place holds on items you would like sent here from other libraries.

Accepting Returns in our Dropbox: 24 hrs/day.  In keeping with medical advice, all items will be quarantined for 7 days before being taken off your record.  You will not receive overdue notices or fines as a result of the quarantine, nor will you be blocked from borrowing more items or placing additional holds.

Contactless Pickup: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 10:00a.m.-Noon and Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00a.m.-Noon and 1:30-4:00.  Please call to schedule your pick-up time and enter through the sliding glass doors on the Knorr St side of the building.  During contactless pickup times, you may also call to ask reference questions, sign up for a library card, or place holds on items.  Contactless printing services are also available.  Please call for more information.

Be safe.  Remember to wear your mask.

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

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Oct. 12 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Wed., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 26 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Fri., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
View all holiday closings


  • 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.