Chestnut Hill Library

8711 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118-2716
Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike
Closed Today
Sunday Closed
Monday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Mar. 14 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
  • Fri., Mar. 29 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Mar. 31 : Closed Easter
  • Thu., Apr. 11 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
View all holiday closings

Facilities

  • 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)

Upcoming Events

The Right to Read: Film Screening and Discussion

Tue, March 5, 2024 5:00 P.M.

In celebration of Read Across America Week we will be showing the film The Right to Read.  Stay for a discussion of the film, and what it considers to be America's greatest civil rights…

Toddlers Take the Train!

Wed, March 6, 2024 11:00 A.M.

In partnership with our friends at Save the Train! , we will be hosting a very special train-themed storytime event! Save the Train! supporters will be meeting at the Allen Lane station to board…

Yoga for Youngsters!

Thu, March 7, 2024 10:30 A.M.

Children and their favorite adult will experience 45 minutes of fun and inspirational interaction encouraging the child's natural thirst for knowledge.  The class is personalized around…

Build It Club

Thu, March 7, 2024 3:00 P.M.

Join us for free play with Magnatiles, K'Nex, Marble Runs and other STEM building toys.  We will also have pre-Duplo, Duplo, and big-kids Legos for kids of all stages of Lego…

About

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. facebook.com/FLPChestnutHill/

History

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.