Chestnut Hill Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

Tuesday, April 27 – Message from Staff

Plant Cuttings Swaps!

Most Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Bring a plant cutting to our newly installed swap station, then stay to browse the Horticulture Collection and explore the library's garden. Bring home something new every week from our children's Take-and-Make Family Activity Station.

Monday, March 29 – Message from Staff


Our book drop is open Monday- Friday, 24 hours. Staff are available to answer questions by phone M-F 10 - 4 pm.  Call us at 215-685-9290.

Materials Pickup for HOLDS are available on M/W/F from 10 - 12  and 1:30 - 4 - please contact the branch to schedule a pickup time for your holds.


Thursday, February 4 – Message from Staff

Chestnut Hill Library Contemporary Book Discussion Group

Fourth Wednesdays of the Month @ 3:00 p.m. (Meetings temporarily held on Zoom)

Please email Dick Goldberg, at for an invitation link.

January 27: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre

February 24:The Good Lord Bird  by James McBride

March 24:  Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

April 28: Clementine, The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell 

May 26: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart 

June 23: The Magus by John Fowles


Tuesday, December 15 – Message from Staff


Mystery Bags are Here!  Fill out the form at the link below and we will select materials for your kids.

8711 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118-2716
Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., May. 31 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Sat., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Sun., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Jul. 5 : Closed Independence Day (Observed)
View all holiday closings


  • 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)


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.