About the Belmont Library Foundation

The Belmont Library Foundation, a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) exempt private foundation, was formed to undertake fundraising activities for the construction of a new Belmont Public Library building.

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 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 free Belmont Library to provide and maintain a wide array of programs and resources. The Belmont Library Foundation, in turn, engages the greater community and leads the effort to gather financial resources to create a new physical space commensurate with Belmont’s highly effective library programs and services.

The Belmont Library Foundation and the Library Building Project

In 2016, after the development of a five-year long-range plan the Library Trustees commissioned a comprehensive Feasibility Study. The result of this study was a recommendation by the Trustees to construct a new library building. A renovation of the current building was not deemed a viable solution, as it would be costly, would reduce usable space, and would fail to meet current and future library needs.

Town Meeting approved the creation of a Library Building Committee in November 2017.and in 2019 the Building Committee concluded the Schematic Design phase of the Library Building Project. The Belmont Library Foundation funded half of the Schematic Design, 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. The final Schematic Design was presented at a Public Forum on November 12, 2019.

Following the presentation of the Library Building Project schematic designs, the Belmont Library Foundation began fundraising for the new library. However, in 2020, due to the pandemic, fundraising efforts were put on hold. In the Fall of 2021, the Belmont Library Foundation held a successful “Our Library Needs a New Home” fundraiser with contributions from more than 600 residents and massive community support.

The Belmont Library Foundation Today

Following the completion of the Fall 2021 fundraiser, the Belmont Foundation began a major gifts campaign to continue raising funds and to further Belmont’s tradition of supporting libraries through public/private partnerships. The major gifts campaign includes opportunities for named recognition.

In May of 2022, the Belmont Library Foundation has launched a spring fundraiser with a goal to once again solicit donations of any amount from community members to support the construction of a new library building.

Meet the Board

Entities of the Belmont Library

The Belmont Public Library provides a center for information and discovery through innovative programming, robust collections, and responsive services. The Library is a place for Belmont to learn, share, and create. Its mission is to enrich the lives of the community by empowering its citizens’ personal, educational and professional growth. The library is dedicated to advancing literacy and fostering life-long learning.  Learn more here.

The Board of Trustees of the Public Library consists of six members elected at the Annual Town Election for a term of three years (two members each year). The Trustees are responsible for “sole care and management of the library”, including custody of books and other property, regulations for governing the library and its use, appointing the Librarian, and overseeing Town appropriations for the library and expenditure of funds for books and other materials, maintenance, support and promotion of the library and its facilities. Learn more about the Library Board here.

The Friends of the Belmont Public Library focus on enhancing library programs and services. Friends memberships and donations, combined with revenue from used book sales, fund activities that are beyond the scope of the Library’s regular operating budget. For example, in 2017 the Friends funded museum passes, author readings, musical performances, teen programming, and circulating Kindles among other things.  Learn more about the Friends here.

The Belmont Library Foundation is a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) private foundation formed to undertake promotional and fundraising activities for the Belmont Public Library, with its current priority to support the construction of a new building.

The Library Building Committee was created by Town Meeting in November 2017 and appointed by the Town Moderator Mike Widmer.  In 2018 the committee worked to hire Daedalus Projects as the Owners Project Managers and Oudens Ello Architecture as the Architecture Firm.   Schematic Design is currently underway.  Learn more about the LBC here on the Belmont Library website.