Belmont Library history

Belmont Library has served its Southeast Portland neighborhood since 1924, when community leaders raised funds by public subscription. This was the first time in Portland that a community had built its own neighborhood library and presented it to the association debt-free. The original architect was Jamieson Parker Architects.


2023  Consultation with the community begins, and will shape the design for Belmont’s future.

2023  Multnomah County voters pass library bond, funding expansion and renovation of several libraries.

2000  Belmont Library reopened after a renovation that nearly doubled the library's size.

1990s  Belmont Library becomes Oregon’s busiest library in terms of circulation per square foot.

1942  During WWII, the Belmont Library’s librarian’s report noted, “The declaration of war and the subsequent months have brought tension and a feeling of uncertainty to everyone … the demand for technical books has been heavy, and women have asked for books for their courses in welding and aircraft work.”

1937  Federal assistance through the Works Progress Administration provided a building expansion, including the children’s room and staff work areas.

1924  Belmont Library opened. The Community Library Committee presented the deed for the building to the Library Association of Portland. 

1923  Community leaders in the Belmont-Hawthorne area raised funds by public subscription to build a neighborhood library.