About the Belmont Library Foundation

The Belmont Library Foundation, a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) private foundation, 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.

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.