Chestnut Hill Library

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

Tuesday, September 28 – Message from Staff


Chestnut Hill Library’s Graphic Novel Book Discussion Group for Young Adults

Discussions take place on Zoom, link will be posted day of discussion.


On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden Friday, October 22nd, 10 a.m.


Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker Friday, November 19th, 10 a.m.


The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neil Friday, December 17th, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, September 28 – Message from Staff


Chestnut Hill Library’s Classics Book Discussion Group

Fall, 2021/ First Thursday of the Month, 10 am.

Book Discussions take place on Zoom, link posted day of discussion.


September 2:    Sheltered Life by Ellen Glasgow 

October 7:         The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy 

November 4:     Nostromo by Joseph Conrad 

December 2:     Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens  

Tuesday, September 28 – Message from Staff


Chestnut Hill Library’s Contemporary Book Discussion Group

Fall, 2021 / First Wednesday of the Month, 10 am.

Book Discussions take place on Zoom, link posted day of discussion.


September  22:   Yekel and the Imported Bridegroom by Abraham Cahan

October  27:        The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

November 17*:    A Passage North  by Anuk Arudpragasam

December 22:     The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich


*Date change to allow for Thanksgiving travel

Sunday, September 26 – Message from Staff

Chestnut Hill Library's Hours for the Week of Monday, September 27th, 2021:

In-Person Browsing/Service: On Monday & Wednesday 2:00-8:00 pm,  Tuesday & Thursday, 2:00-6:00 p.m., and Friday 1:00-5:00 p.m., you are welcome to visit inside the branch to select books and use available library resources. 

Materials Pickup (vestibule) will be continue to be offered as requested.

Please remember that there is currently a Masking Mandate in Philadelphia and everyone needs to mask up-regardless of your vaccination status.  It's a good idea to continue to maintain physical distancing while in the library.

We look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, April 27 – Message from Staff

Plant Cuttings Swaps!

Most Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Bring a plant cutting to our newly installed swap station, then stay to browse the Horticulture Collection and explore the library's garden. Bring home something new every week from our children's Take-and-Make Family Activity Station.

8711 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118-2716
Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike
By Appointment Today
Sunday, 9/26 Closed
Monday, 9/27 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 9/28 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 9/29 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 9/30 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 10/1 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10/2 Closed
  • * Tuesday has hour changes – Due to staff shortage.
Sunday Closed
Monday 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Oct. 11 : Closed Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • Thu., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 25 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Fri., Dec. 24 : Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
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)


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.