Chestnut Hill Library

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

PFCU Home Buying Seminar

Wednesday, April 11th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Learn all about shopping for a home, negotiating the price, and financing. To register, visit the Events & Clases page at or call 215-934-3580. Led by the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union.

Infant & Toddler Playgroup!

Fridays, Starting 4/6/2018! 10:30- noon. 

For infants and toddlers and their parents, grandparents, and caregivers. Kids can play, talk, read & listen to music as they explore and interact with one another.

Chestnut Hill Library Book Group

Meets the last Wednesday of every month @ 7:00 p.m.

Spring 2018 Selection:

A Piece of the World: A Novel by Christine Baker Kline

Wednesday, March 28th 2018 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Personal History by Katherine Graham

Wednesday April 25th 2018 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Classics Book Group

Meets the 1st Thursday of Every Month at 10:30 am

March 1st: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
April 5th: Burger’s Daughter by Nadine Gordimer
May 3rd: Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentas
June 7th: Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas
July 5th: Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner
August 2nd: Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
September 6th: What is the What by David Eggers
October 4th: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
November 1st: Empress of the Splendid Season by Oscar Hijuelos
December 6th: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

ESL Classes for Adults

Mondays, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Chestnut Hill Library is offering a free ESL conversation and grammar class for people who want to improve their English language skills. The class is every Monday at 7 PM and all are welcome.

Build It Club! 

Every Thursday, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Legos, Magnatiles, K'Nex and other STEM building toys for Free Play with kids of all ages. We also have pre-Duplo, Duplo, and big-kid Legos for kids at all stages of Lego capabilities. There is a snack at the end of Lego Club, which you can opt out of.

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 Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., May. 10 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Mon., May. 28 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Thu., Jun. 14 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Wed., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Thu., Jul. 12 : 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

Philadelphia Science Festival - Science After School!

Thu, April 26, 2018 3:30 P.M.

Spark your student’s passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning when local engineers, scientists, and other experts visit your neighborhood library to lead FREE after-school programs. Take part in these exciting experiments, animal encounters, and kid-…

School Age LEAP Children Family Free Library of Philadelphia Science STEM

Science After School

Thu, April 26, 2018 3:30 P.M.

Science comes to your neighborhood as the city's most engaging experts visit your library to lead free STEM programs after school.

School Age Community Events Family Programs Children Science STEM


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.