Chestnut Hill Library

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

Chestnut Hill Classics Book Group

Meets the first Thursday of every month @ 10:30 a.m.

February 7th: Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
March 7th: The Optimist's Daughter by Eduora Welty
April 4th: The Eight Mountains by Paola Cognetti
May 2nd: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
June 6th: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Chestnut Hill Library Contemporary Book Group

Meets the fourth Wednesday of every month @ 7:00 p.m.

January 23rd: An Odyssey by Daniel Mendelsohn
Februrary 27th: Becoming by Michelle Obama
March 27th: In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Corrrespondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum
April 24th: Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts
May 22nd: Circe by Madeline Miller
June 26th: Mad, Bad Dangerous to Know by Colm Toibin

Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library Volunteer Group

Looking for a way to support your local library? Get involved with the Friends of the Chestnut Hill Branch! Visit their website for more information on volunteer opportunities and learn about the exciting new Speaker Series planned for the Winter and Spring months.


Girl Scouts of America: Troop Chestnut Hill Library

Every other Monday, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Did you know there is a Girl Scouts Troop that meets at the Library?!  Now registering Daisies (K & 1st grade) and Juniors (4th grade/first year only).

Call Ms. Prather, Children's Librarian, for more information. 215.685.9290

American Red Cross Blood Drive

Wednesday, March 6th, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit and enter: CH LIBRARY to schedule an appointment.

ESL Conversation Group for Adults

Mondays, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Chestnut Hill Library is offering a free ESL conversation and grammar class for people who want to improve their English language skills. The class is every Monday at 7:00 PM and all are welcome.

Infant & Toddler Playgroup. 

Every Friday, 10:30- noon. 

For infants and toddlers and their parents, grandparents, and caregivers. Play, talk, read & listen to music as the kids explore and interact with one another.

Build It Club! 

Every Thursday, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Legos, Magnatiles, K'Nex and other STEM building toys for Free Play with kids of all ages. We also have pre-Duplo, Duplo, and big-kid Legos for kids at all stages of Lego capabilities. There is a snack at the end of Lego Club, which you can opt out of.

Closed Today

Sunday, 2/10 Closed
Monday, 2/11 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 2/12 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 2/13 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, 2/14 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.*
Friday, 2/15 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 2/16 Closed
  • * Thursday had hour changes – Due to staff development and staff shortage.
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

  • Mon., Feb. 18 : Closed Presidents' Day
  • Thu., Mar. 14 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Apr. 11 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Fri., Apr. 19 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Apr. 21 : Closed Easter
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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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.