Chestnut Hill Library

Friday, May 19 – Message from Staff


Join P. W. Hand's Author Talk about espionage, technology, and his second novel titled House of the Flying Snakes: Operation Algorithm on Wednesday, June 7th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Chestnut Hill Library.  Participants may attend in person or on Zoom.

To register on Zoom, go to .  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.  Participants attending in-person may contact Ms. Claire Hand at  The first ten attendees will receive a copy of his book.  

Wednesday, May 17 – Message from Staff


State  Representative Tarik Khan, of the 94th District, will be hosting Open Office Hours at the Chestnut Hill Branch on the following dates:

Thursday, May 18th@ 3 – 6 pm  AND Thursday, June 8th@ 3 – 6 pm

Now that our beautiful public library is back open for business, Rep. Khan is excited to announce that Thursday, May 18th from 3-6 pm and June 8th from 3-6 pm, his staff will be hosting remote office hours at the library (8711 Germantown Ave) for all in the community who need assistance with state services. Hope to see you!

8711 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118-2716
Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike
Open today 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Monday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 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., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Tue., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 9 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' 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)

Upcoming Events

Yoga for Curious Kids

Tue, June 6, 2023 10:30 A.M.

Children will be guided to explore their capacity for physical and mental balance, strenghth and flexibility using the tools of movement, mindfulnness, conscious breath, and relaxation. …

Textile Crafters Club

Tue, June 6, 2023 1:00 P.M.

Yarn, handwork, sewing and other textile crafters are welcome to socialize, create, learn, and share ideas techniques, and community project opportunities.  The group will be led by Ms.…

Author Talk: P. W. Hand

Wed, June 7, 2023 6:00 P.M.
Cost: FREE

P. W. Hand is an author of espionage and futuristic fiction.  He will talk about international espionage and technology in modern literature.  This program will be held in person and…

Infant and Toddler Playgroup

Fri, June 9, 2023 10:30 A.M.

Play, talk, read and listen to music as the kids explore and interact with one another. For youngsters along with their parents, grandparents or caregivers.  Come one time, or all the time.…


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.