Chestnut Hill Library

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

Saturday StoryPlay!

Saturdays, November 9th and December 7th, 11:00 a.m.

Join Ms. Prather for a family Storytime event followed by a craft and block play.

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

Infant & Toddler Playgroup!

Most Fridays  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.

This month's Contemporary Book Club on Wednesday November 20th at 7 PM is All The Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy. 

Open today 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, 11/10 Closed
Monday, 11/11 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 11/12 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 11/13 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, 11/14 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.*
Friday, 11/15 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 11/16 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Monday had hour changes – Veterans Day
  • * Thursday has hour changes – Due to staff development.
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 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Thu., Nov. 28 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Thu., Dec. 12 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Wed., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Thu., Jan. 9 : Opening at 2:00 PM Due to staff development.
  • Thu., Feb. 13 : 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

Chestnut Hill Library Contemporary Book Group

Wed, Nov 20, 7:00 P.M.

This group meets on selected Wednesdays.  For more information and to reserve a copy of the month's selection, please contact the library…

Fall Storytime Series: Stories Celebrating Family

Thu, Nov 21, 10:30 A.M.

Celebrate Fall with stories, songs and rhymes For children of all ages.  Groups should contact the Children's Librarian - Ms.…

Beginning Meditation Classes

Thu, Nov 21, 1:30 P.M.

Learn the foundational practices including how to develop concentration, avoid distractions, and sit comfortably, in this four-part class. You…

Friends Speaker Series | Beyond Chestnut Hill's Water Tower

Tue, Nov 26, 1:30 P.M.

Philadelphia's Bureau of Water completed mains that reached Northwest Philadelphia in the 1890s.  For hundreds of years before that…

On the History of Various Christmas Carols | Harp Concert

Wed, Dec 4, 7:00 P.M.

Come learn the history and origin of several Christmas Carols, with musical examples played on the harp.  The audience is encouraged to sing…

Chestnut Hill Classics Book Group

Thu, Dec 5, 10:30 A.M.

Join us the first Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. Today we'll be talking about Persuasion by Jane Austen.    

View all events


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.