A Brief History

of the Belmont Public Library

Library Established

The library has been serving the community since 1868 when it was housed at the high school–town hall building.



At that time the library housed 817 volumes and was open one hour per week. As the Town developed, the demand for more books and library services necessitated a larger facility...


New Library Promised

In 1900, Henry Oliver Underwood announced his intention to memorialize his parents with the gift of a new town library building. 


Underwood Library Opened!

The Underwood library opened in 1902 and is currently the School Administration Building.



Collection Expands

By 1955 the building held more than twice the number of books that it was built to contain.

Procurement of New Library

By 1960, the possibility of a new library at a new site was under discussion and in 1962 Town Meeting supported procurement of the present site on Concord Avenue.



Library Dedication

The Memorial building of the Public Library was dedicated on November 1, 1965.

The Present

Today the Belmont Public Library continues to serve the community. Belmont residents have always demonstrated a strong demand for library services.  Even though the population holds steady, the Library’s circulation continues to increase yearly, having risen from a circulation of 288,151 in 1989 to a circulation in excess of 550,000 in 2009.  With such high annual circulation figures, Belmont continues to be ranked among the most heavily used libraries in its population group, which includes fifty-three other Massachusetts communities.