The Ridley Park Public Library offers a range of programming for infants through adults open to all, including infant and child story time, craft activities, STEM programs, book clubs, and more. Support for programming comes from the Friends of the Ridley Park Library, a group of neighbors who support us through events, fundraising, and raising awareness about the importance of local libraries. Our collection includes books, magazines, movies, and museum passes and our services include faxing, copying, printing, and free Wi-Fi.
The library is governed by a library board of seven trustees comprised of five residents of the borough, a member of the borough council, and a member of the Ridley School District board of directors. They typically meet the third Monday of every month.
The Ridley Park Public Library began in 1888 when a group of residents met in the train station waiting room to organize the Ridley Park Library Association. The association planned to offer members a reading room and lending library for the low price of $1 a year in two rooms on the second floor of the building that now houses The Brickhaus. By 1890, the library had reached the limits of this space and moved down the street to the second floor of the building that stood where Double Decker is today, but unfortunately, fire destroyed the library on Christmas Eve of 1892. At this point, the newly formed Ridley School District agreed to take over responsibility for the library, which resulted in the library moving into the Tome Street School in 1893.
The library continued to grow and by 1911, it was time for a new building, so the borough of Ridley Park wrote to Andrew Carnegie to request funding for a new library building. Although the initial request for was $7,500, Carnegie donated $10,000 for the construction of the current building on the condition that the borough of Ridley Park take over support for the library. To this day, the library still displays his photo, along with a signed good luck message. On July 4, 1912, the borough held the dedication ceremony for the new building and the following day the library opened to the public with around 600 registered patrons and a total collection of 4,790 books. Fifty years later the borough remodeled the basement to become the children’s library due to an increase in the population of Ridley Park.