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.