Chestnut Hill Library

Services and hours are subject to change — please call in advance. Before you visit, please review our new COVID-19 guidelines.

Sunday, January 2 – Message from Staff


Chestnut Hill Library’s Classics Book Discussion Group

Winter/Spring 2022:  First Thursday of the Month, 11 am.

Book Discussions take place on Zoom, link posted day of discussion. Group Facilitator can be reached at Books are available for Pick-Up at the Chestnut Hill Library Adult Department.


January 6th:    Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac

February 3rd:  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert     

March 3rd:      Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert                

April 7th:         Les Miserables by Victor Hugo                                                              

May 5th:         The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James               


Saturday, January 1 – Message from Staff


Chestnut Hill Library’s GLBTQ Graphic Novel Discussion Club!

Book Discussions are held on Zoom and moderated by the library's Work Study Student. Link posted here day of program.


Cheer Up!: Love & Pom Poms by Crystal Fraiser

Place a HOLD for this title here:

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin

Place a HOLD for this title here:

The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag

Place a HOLD for this title here:

Saturday, January 1 – Message from Staff


Chestnut Hill Library's Contemporary Book Discussion Group

Winter/Spring 2022: Fourth Wednesday of the Month, 10:00 a.m. 

Book Discussions take place on Zoom, link posted day of discussion. Group Facilitator can be reached at Books are available for Pick-Up at the Chestnut Hill Library Adult Department.


January 26:     I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart

February 23:   The Matrix by Lauren Groff

March 23:       Shadow of the Empress  by Nancy Goldstone

April 27:          Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe

May 25:          Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

June 22:         The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers

Friday, December 31 – Message from Staff

The Chestnut Hill Branch does NOT have any more tablets to lend. There are a few Hot-Spots available. Please be sure to call the branch before stopping by for a device. Remember, this program is for library patrons without access to internet in their homes.
Thank you and Happy New Years!

8711 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118-2716
Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike
Open today 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1/16 Closed
Monday, 1/17 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 1/18 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 1/19 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 1/20 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 1/21 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 1/22 Closed
  • * Monday had hour changes – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Sunday Closed
Monday 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Feb. 21 : Closed Presidents' Day
  • Fri., Apr. 15 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Apr. 17 : Closed Easter
  • Mon., May. 30 : Closed Memorial Day
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.