Chestnut Hill Library

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

Speech and Language Developmental Playgroup!

Tuesday, August 6th, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

All families with children ages 6 months to 4 years are welcome to join our FREE Speech & Language Play Group! The speech-language pathologist led group will focus on building vocabulary and improving speech sound production. We will be exploring colors and animals with Brown Bear, Brown Bear!

For more information, contact Samantha Aitken, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist at  (215) 882-9793 or

Here's what we are reading for this month's Classics Book Club - Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith.. Thursday, August 1st  at 10:30 a.m. 

Here's what we are reading for this month's Contemporary Book Club - A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee  Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00 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 Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Aug. 8 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Sep. 2 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 12 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Oct. 10 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Oct. 14 : Closed Columbus 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)

Nearby Libraries

Support Chestnut Hill Library

Donate Now

Upcoming Events

Swedes in Space

Mon, Jul 22, 6:00 P.M.

Join us for a program themed "A Universe fo Stories" to discover the wonders of space, and learn what it takes to become an astronaut.…

ESL Conversation Group

Mon, Jul 22, 7:00 P.M.

This group is a great way to practice speaking everyday English.  For adults.

Teen Wednesdays: Slime Party!

Wed, Jul 24, 5:30 P.M.

Do you love slime?  We do! Join us for a program of colorful slime-making.  Mix together some glue, some water, food coloring and a few…

Chestnut Hill Library Contemporary Book Group

Wed, Jul 24, 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…

Storytime Art Stroll

Thu, Jul 25, 10:30 A.M.

Our storytime begins at the library and features books chosen for the illustrations.  After storytime, we'll take a stroll to the…

Build it Club!

Thu, Jul 25, 4:00 P.M.

Join us on Thursdays for LEGOs, Magnatiles, K'Nex and other STEM building toys for Free Play with kids of all ages.  We also have…

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.