Chestnut Hill Library

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

Chess Club!

Every Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Relocated from the Lovett Library, Chess Club is for children, teens and adults of all skill levels.

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.


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.


Every Thursday, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Enjoy stories, rhymes and songs! For preschoolers, toddlers, and siblings of all ages.

Join Ms. Prather for a special One Book, Every Young Child themed Storytime featuring Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer ( on Thursday, April 27th at 10:30 am. Groups must call ahead to register!

There is no Storytime on Thursday, April 13th due to a Staff Development Mtg.

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 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., May. 11 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., May. 29 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Thu., Jun. 8 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Tue., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Thu., Jul. 13 : 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

Hop on Board the Rainbow Train!

Sat, Jun 17, 10:30 A.M.

Join singer/songwriter Chana Rothman and celebrate freedom and diversity in gender expression, and social change, in this fun, creative, family…

Movie Night

Mon, Jun 19, 6:30 P.M.

Join us for a screening of " Do I Sound Gay ." After a break-up with his boyfriend, journalist David Thorpe embarks on a hilarious and…

Summer of Wonder Kick-off!

Wed, Jun 21, 4:00 P.M.

Sign-up for Summer Reading adn then create a beautiful flag inspired by your favorite book.  We will display the flags all summer long.…

Summertime Storytimes

Thu, Jun 22, 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, Jun 23, 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.…

Teens Nuke Stuff

Tue, Jun 27, 2:00 P.M.

Come out and learn how to microwave your way to healthy mug cakes and other tasty foods.

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.