Chestnut Hill Library

Sunday, May 5 – Message from Staff


LEAP Programs for the Month of May!

Join our After School Leader and Teen Helpers for a series of fun robotics, art and film programs and activities!

Maker Monday: Bristle Bots 3-3:45pm
Comic Book Workshop 4-4:45pm

Maker Monday: Solar Bugs 3-3:45pm
Intro. to Figure Drawing 4-4:45pm

Maker Monday: Paper Circuits 3-3:45pm
Speed Cubers Workshop 4-4:45pm

Movie Night: The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes 5-6:30pm

Monday, April 29 – Message from Staff


Book Launch: Searching for Solid Ground by Beloved Musician Reggie Harris

Wednesday, May 22nd, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Renowned Philadelphia-born musician Reggie Harris has recently published a memoir, and he will be doing a book reading and signing at the Chestnut Hill Branch on Wednesday, May 22 at 3:00 PM. Searching for Solid Ground is a captivating and deeply personal chronicle of Harris’s extraordinary life, from his early years when his love of music was fueled by singing everywhere he could—at home, at church, and in the school choir—to performing across the world for over forty years as one half of the folk duo Kim and Reggie Harris, to his current work blending his musical gifts with a commitment to promote justice and peace and heal the racial divide. Searching for Solid Ground is an inspiring narrative of bridge-building, hope, and resilience.

8711 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118-2716
Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike
Open today 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 5/19 Closed
Monday, 5/20 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 5/21 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 5/22 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, 5/23 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, 5/24 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *
Saturday, 5/25 Closed
  • * Friday has hour changes – preparation for the Memorial Day holiday
Sunday Closed
Monday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Fri., May. 24 : Closing at 1:00 PM preparation for the Memorial Day holiday
  • Mon., May. 27 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Thu., Jun. 13 : Opening at 1:00 PM due to staff development
  • Wed., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
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

Textile Arts Club

Wed, May 22, 2024 3:00 P.M.

Learn to knit, crochet, embroider, hand sew and use a sewing machine.  This program will be led by volunteers, and supplies will be provided by the Wild Hand, a fiber-craft store in Mt. Airy…

Build It Club

Thu, May 23, 2024 3:00 P.M.

Join us for free play with Magnatiles, K'Nex, Marble Runs and other STEM building toys.  We will also have pre-Duplo, Duplo, and big-kids Legos for kids of all stages of Lego…

Artist in Residency: Featuring the Talent of The NoName Gallery

Tue, May 28, 2024 4:00 P.M.

Join local professional artist Ayiana Viviana, whose work has been exhibited at The NoName Gallery of Chestnut Hill, in weekly workshops with rotating thematic programs.  These workshops…

Textile Arts Club

Wed, May 29, 2024 3:00 P.M.

Learn to knit, crochet, embroider, hand sew and use a sewing machine.  This program will be led by volunteers, and supplies will be provided by the Wild Hand, a fiber-craft store in Mt. Airy…


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.