Chestnut Hill Library

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

We are now open Monday through Friday.

Infant & Toddler Playgroup!

Fridays, June 23rd, July 14th, and August 4th: 10:30- noon. 

For infants and toddlers and their parents, grandparents, and caregivers. Kids can play, talk, read & listen to music as they explore and interact with one another.

Summertime Storytimes!

Thursdays, June 22nd, July 20th, August 3rd: 10:30-11:30 am.

Celebrate Summer with topical books, rhymes & songs. For children of all ages.

Lego Club! 

Every Thursday, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Lego Free Play with kids of all ages. We have pre-Duplo, Duplo, and big-kid Legos for kids at all stages of Lego capabilities. There is a cookie & popcorn snack at the end of Lego Club, which you can opt out of.

Open today until 9:00 p.m.

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. 10 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
  • Thu., Sep. 14 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., Oct. 9 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Thu., Oct. 12 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
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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Upcoming Events

Wooden Block Party!

Wed, Jul 26, 4:00 P.M.

Spend some time on free play with good, old fashioned, wooden blocks.  The blocks will be availalbe for two hours.  Children should be…

Science in the Summer 2017 - Science of Sports!

Thu, Jul 27, 10:00 A.M.

GSK Science in the Summer™ is a fun and free science education program sponsored by GSK and administered by The Franklin…

English Language Conversation Group

Mon, Jul 31, 6:30 P.M.

Are you looking for a place to practice English?  Join us for a weekly group, where all levels are welcome.  We'll meet on Mondays, from…

Summertime Storytimes

Thu, Aug 3, 10:30 A.M.

Celebrate Summer with tropical books, rhymes and songs. For children of all ages.  Young children must be accompanied by an adult care-giver.

Infant & Toddler Playgroup

Fri, Aug 4, 10:30 A.M.

Play, talk, read, and listen to music as kids explore and interact with one another.  For infants and toddlers along with an adult caregiver.…

Wrap-up Party!

Mon, Aug 7, 5:00 P.M.

Celebrate all the wonderful reading you've done with us and make some oobleck quicksand.

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.