West Oak Lane Library

West Oak Lane Library is temporarily closed.

Monday, May 10 – Message from Staff

We are open, but open looks a little bit different.

The West Oak Library offers curbside pickup for your library materials every 15 minutes beginning at 10:00 am to noon and again from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please call the library at 215-685-2843 to arrange a pickup time.

We are open for in person service Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1:00-4:30 p.m. for computer use and printing, library card registration, making copies, wifi use and reference services. We are allowing browsing of materials. No meeting room reservations are being taken at this time. Time on the computer is limited to 45 mins. per day and time spent in the library is limited to 1 hour per day. 

Our drop box is open 24/7 for your library returns.

 

 

2000 E Washington Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19138-1344
74th Ave & Washington Lane
Learn about limited services at the Free Library.

Upcoming Events

Manuscripts of The Muslim World Project: An Information Session.

Sat, June 26, 2021 11:00 A.M.

Celebrate Your Islamic Heritage With the Free Library! Find out how you can be a part of Philadelphia history! Sign up now   Do you have a spiritual or cultural connection to Islam? Do you want to…

Crafts in the Garden!

Wed, June 30, 2021 1:00 P.M.

Learn something new each week.  This week, we will decorate bird houses or bird feeders.  This program is for families - adults, teens, and children, but children under 8 must be…

Crafts in the Garden!

Wed, July 7, 2021 1:00 P.M.

Learn something new each week.  This week, we will tie-dye shirts.  This program is for families - adults, teens, and children, but children under 8 must be accompanied by a…

Crafts in the Garden!

Wed, July 14, 2021 1:00 P.M.

Learn something new each week.  This week, we will make a macrame plant holder with rope and beads.  This program is for families - adults, teens, and children, but children under 8 must…

About

Located at the intersection of 74th Avenue, Washington Lane, and Limekiln Pike, the West Oak Lane Branch serves West Oak Lane and parts of Cedarbrook, Ivy Hill, and East Mt. Airy.
Find us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/WOLLibrary to see our programs and activities!

History

Before 1854, when the area became incorporated into the city of Philadelphia, the future neighborhood of West Oak Lane was made up of settlements called Pleasantville, Cedar Park and Pittville. As the region was mostly farmland in the 19th century, they were not really towns, just crossroads or a few acres of cleared land.

It is reported that a realtor began calling this collection of settlements West Oak Lane to distinguish it from Oak Lane, which occupied the area east of Old York Road and Broad Street. The area was officially named West Oak Lane in 1925, when real estate development began in earnest.

Limekiln Pike takes its name from the limestone quarries in Montgomery County, the road's original terminus. This old road, running north-south through the West Oak Lane community, was a toll road from 1735 to 1903. One of the toll gatehouses still stands.

A block away, Ogontz Avenue is named for Chief Ogontz, a Native American who entertained Civil War financier Jay Cooke when Cooke was a boy at his family's home in Sandusky Ohio. In 1865, Cooke named his Oak Lane mansion for Chief Ogontz.

The West Oak Lane Branch first opened to the public on August 26, 1957. 2,000 people visited the library during the first hour it was open. In 1980, disaster struck, and the West Oak Lane Branch was almost totally destroyed by fire. After reconstruction, it re-opened in 1985. The library was renovated in 2000 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which brought Internet access to every branch.

Look for sculptures of abstract mask forms in the picture book area. Artist Charles Searles created them, reflecting his American, African and Native American heritage.