Chestnut Hill Library

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

Girl Scouts of America: Troop Chestnut Hill Library

Every other Monday, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Did you know there is a Girl Scouts Troop that meets at the Library?!  Now registering Daisies (K & 1st grade) and Juniors (4th grade/first year only).

Call Ms. Prather, Children's Librarian, for more information. 215.685.9290

Open today 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 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

  • Mon., May. 27 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Thu., Jun. 13 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Thu., Jul. 11 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Aug. 8 : 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

Infant and Toddler Playgroup

Fri, May 24, 10:30 A.M.

Infants and toddlers along with their parents, grandparents or caregivers are invited to join us at the library for some fun activities. …

Build it Club!

Thu, May 30, 4:00 P.M.

Join us on Thursdays for LEGOs, Magnatiles, K'Nex and other STEM building toys for Free Play with kids of all ages.  We also have…

Infant and Toddler Playgroup

Fri, May 31, 10:30 A.M.

Infants and toddlers along with their parents, grandparents or caregivers are invited to join us at the library for some fun activities. …

ESL Conversation Group for Adults

Mon, Jun 3, 7:00 P.M.

Chestnut Hill is offering a free English as a Second Language conversation and grammar group for people who want to improve their English Language…

Teen Wednesdays: Pizza Party & Game Night

Wed, Jun 5, 5:30 P.M.

Eat pizza while playing games.  Try out a classic, like Jenga, or learn a new game, like Codenames.  Feel free to bring your own…

Chestnut Hill Classics Book Group

Thu, Jun 6, 10:30 A.M.

Join us the first Thursday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Selections for the spring are: March 7th - The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty…

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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.