Chestnut Hill Library

8711 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118-2716
(Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike)
215- 685-9290

Due to an installation project taking place in the Community Room, the Infant & Toddler Play Group will not take place on Friday, September 20th. You are more than welcome to enjoy the Board Books and toys in the Children's Area from 10:30-noon.

Starting September 21, we will also be open on Saturdays.  Stop in from 11 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Closed Today

Sunday Closed
Monday 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Oct. 10 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Oct. 14 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Mon., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 14 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Nov. 28 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
View all holiday closings

Photo of Chestnut Hill Library


  • Baby changing station
  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Electrical outlets available
  • Photocopier (black/white)
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking (metered)
  • Water fountain
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)

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Upcoming Events

Break into Baking for Teens

Tue, Sep 24, 4:00 P.M.

Find out what it takes to start your own baking business.  Ms. O (Founder and CEO of Aunt Orphia's Pound Cake Company) will tell the…

Read With A Dog!

Wed, Sep 25, 4:00 P.M.

Kelly, a lovely Goldendoodle, will be here to listen to stories.  She is a certified Facility Dog. Reading to dogs is a great way to build…

Chestnut Hill Library Contemporary Book Group

Wed, Sep 25, 7:00 P.M.

This group meets on selected Wednesdays.  For more information and to reserve a copy of the month's selection, please contact the library…

Fall Storytime Series: Stories of Fall and Friendship

Thu, Sep 26, 10:30 A.M.

Celebrate Fall with stories, songs and rhymes For children of all ages.  Groups should contact the Children's Librarian - Ms.…

Chestnut Hill Classics Book Group

Thu, Oct 3, 10:30 A.M.

Join us the first Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. Today we'll be talking about Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh. Upcoming selections…

Chestnut Hill Library Contemporary Book Group

Wed, Oct 23, 7:00 P.M.

This group meets on selected Wednesdays.  For more information and to reserve a copy of the month's selection, please contact the library…

View all events


Located a half-block north of Bethlehem Pike in the middle of a lovely garden, the library is just beyond the end of the 23 route.


The first inhabitants of the Chestnut Hill area were the Delaware Indians. One of their leaders, Chief Tedyuscung, is immortalized in a statue in nearby Fairmount Park overlooking Wissahickon Creek. The Indians sold this section of their territory to William Penn on July 14, 1683.

The area's first white settlers were religious dissenters from Holland who were attracted to Penns Woods by the tolerance of its gentle leader. The name Chestnut Hill first appeared in a deed of 1711. Although there were no more Chestnut trees on the hill than anywhere else, the now almost extinct trees gave the town its name.

To serve the schools and the community, philanthropist Henry Williams built the Christian Hall Library in 1872 at 8711 Germantown Avenue. Williams named the library Christian Hall because he did not wish anything to go on in the two-story building and subsequent annex that would be inconsistent with the word "Christian." Singing, elocution classes, magic lantern shows, art lectures, church fairs and temperance meetings were permitted.

At first the library was only a reading room, and books were issued only to subscribers. But after 1876, Mr. Williams was persuaded to allow anyone to take books without charge. In 1897, the trustees of the Christian Hall Library decided that the library would be of greater benefit to the community as a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and so they granted the grounds to the city.

A new library building was built in 1907, funded by Andrew Carnegie and on the same site as the Christian Hall Library. In 1991, a modern meeting room addition was added. The library was renovated in 1999 as part of the "Changing Lives" campaign, which brought Internet service to every branch. Active support is provided by the Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library, founded in the 1970s.