Public Transportation Directions to Torresdale Library
By Appointment services available - call to schedule
Tuesday, January 19 – Message from Staff
Our schedule, effective TUESDAY, JANUARY 19 is as follows:
Torresdale Library will be open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 4:30pm for the following limited services: browsing, 30-minute computer use, checkout, and library account services. Please note – there will be two public PCs available but we cannot currently offer computer assistance. Please limit your total library visit to 30 minutes. You must wear a mask covering your nose and mouth while in the library. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
The library will be closed to the public on Wednesdays and Fridays but will continue to offer the following services: telephone reference, library account services and contactless material pick-up from 10am to 12noon, and 1:30pm to 4:00pm on those days. You have to contact the library to make an appointment for pickup. You can reach a staff member between 9am and 12 noon, and again 1:00pm to 4:30pm Mondays through Fridays by calling 215-685-0494. If you hear a recorded message during these hours, please note that we have one phone line and it is in use as we are assisting other customers. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Our drop box is open 24/7 and is for the return of borrowed library materials only. Absolutely no donated materials, please. Please note that the items will stay on your record for approximately one week while they go through a required quarantine period.
Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.
In addition to Torresdale, the library serves the communities of Academy Gardens, Ashton-Woodbridge, Holme Circle, Pennypack, Pennypack Woods, and Upper Holmesburg.
The first settlers in the Torresdale area were the Swedes and then the English, who were possibly led by Thomas Holme, the Surveyor-General who helped William Penn lay out much of the original city of Philadelphia. In 1682, Holme received a grant of 1,646 acres from Penn. He is buried near the library, in Crispin Cemetery.
The area was originally part of Lower Dublin Township, and the earliest record of it is 1693. It was known as Delaware Township from 1852-1854, and then it became part of the city of Philadelphia. The area began to develop around 1850, when Charles Macalester bought a large tract of land and named it "Torrisdale," after his family's estate in Scotland.
The Torresdale Branch of the Free Library opened in February 1972. It features wooden cathedral ceilings. The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign.
A highlight of the building is the Mother Goose mural in the preschool area. It has Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, and a real clock with a painted mouse.