Decoding the Cyber War

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.

The 2016 election was an historic Russian military victory exploiting cyber techniques against which the West has few defenses. Watch taped interviews with Soviet era spies, participate in discussion of The Mueller Report and of the challenges posed to democracy by foreign “active measures”. 

Stan Cutler, formerly of Penn State’s Communications Department, is a novelist, lecturer, student of political communication and a contributor to the Chestnut Hill Local.   


What’s in your DNA? What’s not?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. 

DNA testing raises many questions.  Are they accurate when they say you’re 75% Italian/25% Ashkenazi? (Yes and no.) Will the results uncover family secrets? (Very possibly.) Will they help you build your family tree? (Yes!) What can they tell you about your health? (Lots.) Are there reasons not to take the test? (Sometimes.) 

Mary Lee Keane will address this and other questions.  She teaches a popular genealogy course in Temple University’s OLLI program and has worked with DNA results since they became available to laypeople.


Heroes and Villains in Chestnut Hill

Tuesday, October 29, 1:30 at p.m.

Want to know about the most remarkable people in your community? Len Lear has been a reporter and editor for the Chestnut Hill Local for 25 years. A lifelong Philadelphia resident, he has been a full-time journalist for 52 years. 

Len Lear has covered tumultuous controversies in Chestnut Hill and will discuss them as well as the most fascinating people he has ever written about. How he got into journalism in the first place might just be the most bizarre story of all. 


Why did Finland’s Jews Survive?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.


Finland’s Jews survived the Holocaust. Despite the presence in their country of 260,000 German troops during WWII, not one of Finland’s Jewish citizens was sent to Nazi concentration or death camps. Why not? Where did these Jews come from in the first place, and how did they end up in Finland? 

John Simon, an American Jew who has lived in Finland the past 35 years, explores this unique story, which became the basis for his fact-based novel, Strangers in a Stranger Land


Railroads: Defining Our Communities

Tuesday, November 12, 1029 at 1:30 p.m.


An avid student of Philadelphia's industrial history, Edward  Duffy of Mount Airy is the author of two books, 'Philadelphia - A Railroad History' (Camino Books, 2013) and 'Philadelphia Celebrates - 1876-1926-1976' (Camino Books, 2017), magazine articles and is a contributing writer with Hidden City Philadelphia, an internet magazine .  

Ed will discuss the rise and evolution of Philadelphia's railroad industry and its impact on the City's neighborhoods, economy and physical form.

Drew Brown

Beyond Chestnut Hill’s Water Tower

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 1:30 a.m.


Philadelphia’s Bureau of Water finally completed mains that reached all Northwest Philadelphia in the 1890s. For hundreds of years before that engineering feat, folks in the Borough of Germantown and the townships of Mt. Airy and Roxborough paid private enterprises for water of dubious quality. 

Drew Brown presents rare images from the Philadelphia Water Department’s Historical Collection. A Chestnut Hill resident, Drew is an environmental engineer with 41 years of experience with the City of Philadelphia Water Department. His stories of our water infrastructure will surprise and fascinate. 

highlights of the 2018-2019 Speaker Series events.



Discover Philadelphia's Great Trees was a virtual sell-out 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 6 p.m. 

The first event in the 2019 Soeaker Series was a virtual sell-out, with more than 100 neighbors attending as Ned 

Cyber Age Politics:  News Industry Reform 

Tuesday, January 22 at 1:30 p.m.

Local author Stan Cutler captivated the audience as he explored our polarized  condition, the commercialized news industry and Federal regulation. 

Civil War Medicine: What Went Right 

Tuesday, January 29 at 1:30

Another virtual sold-out presentation  about  extraordinary levels of battlefield carnage during the Civil War .

Chimpanzees, Jane & Me

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. 

Scientist Bill Konstant captivated the audience with  stories about training chimpanzees in America, being inspired by the work of Dr. Jane Goodall, and helping to ensure the survival of chimpanzees in their native Africa.   

Baseball: The Numbers Game 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 1:30 P.M 

Data scientist Lindsey Murdah did a deep dive into the vast trove of baseball statistics that invite analysis to identify what has stayed the same and changed over the past 100 years. 

Yes, Learning is Fun! 

Wednesday, March 20, at 6:00 P.M 

Children joined the discussion as Chris Heimer explored materials and ideas for different ages and learning modes - sharing ways children learn and use creativity in learning new skills.

Truth vs. Fake News in the Trump Era

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.

Peter Lewis examined the historic relationships between presidents and the press; the role of a free press in the democratic process; the consolidation of corporate media power and what we can do to make sense of the current tumultuous media landscape. 

CBD, THC & the ABCs of Medical Marijuana 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. 

 Pharmacist Wanda Beilenson discussed the forms of medical marijuana, their effects, how Pennsylvania’s program works, the qualifying medical conditions, and how one registers to become a patient.

The Novels of  Elena Ferrante:  Secrets of Their Power 

Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. 

Karen Bojar explored the secrets of Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet that focus on gender inequality and its devastating effects on women’s lives and discussed who might actually be the author of this mysterious work.

What happened to the Lenape?  Early Delaware Valley settlers & Native Americans. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. 

Standing room only as  Dr. Claude Epstein, Professor Emeritus at Stockton University shared insight into the Lenape, their relationship to the 17th Century Finns, Swedes, Dutch and English, and what happened to the people who once called Chestnut Hill their home? 

Music & Memory: The Power to Combat Dementia 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 1:30 P.M.

 Marja Kaisla  discussed how playing and listening to music counteracts the negative effects of aging, such as memory loss, hearing loss and other sensory difficulties, social functioning and sense of identity. 


Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library Board of Directors Meeting

The next Chestnut Hill Library Fiends Board of Directors meeting will be posted when a date has been set.

For Adults

Chestnut Hill Library Contemporary Book Group

This group meets on selected Wednesdays.  For more information and to reserve a copy of the month's selection, please contact the library at 215-685-9290.

Chestnut Hill Library Classics Book Group

Join us the first Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. 

For Children & Young Adults

Break into Baking for Teens

Tuesday, September 24 at 4 p.m.

Read with a Dog!

Wednesday, September 25 at 4 p.m.

Fall Story-time Series: Stories of Fall & Friendship

Thursday, September 26 at 10:30 a.m.

Fall Storytime Series: Spooky Storytime!

Thursday, October 31 at 10:30 a.m.

Fall Storytime Series: Stories Celebrating Family

Thursday, November 21 at 10:30 a.m.

Fall Storytime Series: All things WInter

Thursday, December 19 at 10:30 a.m.