The Belmont Library Foundation, a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, was formed to undertake promotional and fundraising activities for the Belmont Public Library, including support for construction of a new building and creation of an endowment to fund ongoing library needs.
Belmont residents formed the Belmont Library Foundation in the early 2000s to honor the historic “public /private partnership” established over a century ago by the vision and generosity of Henry O. Underwood, who nearly single-handedly created the Town’s very first dedicated Library Building, and to sustain this legacy of financial support for one of our community’s most valuable and enduring institutions. Many generations of users — children, youth/teens, mature, and older citizens alike — all with varying skill sets, languages, interests and needs, rely upon the Belmont Library to provide and maintain a wide array of programs and resources. The Belmont Library Foundation, in turn, specifically engages the greater community and leads the effort to gather financial resources to create a new physical space commensurate with Belmont’s highly effective programs, perennially one of the Commonwealth’s top circulation and programmatic libraries, regardless of city/town population.
After development of a five-year long range plan focused on programs and services, the Library Trustees commissioned a comprehensive Feasibility Study in 2016. The result of this study was a recommendation by the Trustees in February 2017 to construct a new library building, as a renovation would be costly and reduce usable space yet fail to provide appropriately for both current and future uses. Town Meeting approved creation of a Library Building Committee in November 2017. In 2019, the Building Committee conducted the Schematic Design, which is the first phase of building design. The Belmont Library Foundation was thrilled to provide financial support to this effort and funded half of the Schematic Design cost, with Town Meeting approving the funding of the other half. The Schematic Design process included a series of public forums to invite the community’s thoughts and feedback on the new library, and the final Schematic Design was presented at the Public Forum on November 12 .
The Belmont Library Foundation is leading the effort to raise private funds for a new building. In partnership with the Library Administration, its Trustees, and the Friends of the Library, the Foundation encourages continued and increased support of the Belmont Public Library as a valuable community resource.