In memoriam: Robert Bellanti, 76, UCLA librarian emeritus

Robert Bellanti, whose 32-year UCLA Library career included nearly two decades as head of the Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld Management Library, died April 24 in Los Angeles. He was 76.Photo of Robert Bellanti smiling

“Bob’s enduring legacy includes strengthening the UCLA Library’s research and instructional ties to the Anderson School of Management as well as helping a new generation of librarians prepare for management careers in academic business libraries,” said Virginia Steel, Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian. “He was a true devotee of student success, technological advancements in libraries and to the arts. He will be greatly missed.”

Born August 15, 1945 in New York City, Bellanti attended the Baruch School of the City College of New York and completed his B.A. at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He met his wife, Claire (Quinte) Bellanti, while both were working in the UNLV Library. Bellanti earned an M.L.I.S from the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from UCLA.

Bellanti’s career at UCLA began in 1973 with a post-graduate internship in medical librarianship at the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library. He later managed that location’s interlibrary loan operations, and from 1979 to 1982 was the associate director of the Pacific Southwest Regional Medical Library, based in the biomedical library.

In 1982, Bellanti was appointed to lead the Rosenfeld Management Library, a position he held until 2002. His accomplishments included supervising the management library’s move to its current location in the Anderson School and overseeing the transition from print publications to primarily online resources during the 2000s. From 1996 to 2002 he served in a dual role as associate director of Anderson Computing and Information Systems, helping integrate the school’s computing center into their operations, a first in the country among management libraries. From 2003 until he retired in 2005, he served as interim associate university librarian for research and instructional services.

Bellanti chaired the Librarians Association of UCLA from 1982 to 1983 and was statewide LAUC Chair from 1985 to 1986. He held a two-year adjunct faculty position in the Department of Information Studies in the mid-1990s, teaching courses and lecturing on business information and librarianship.

Among his many professional affiliations, Bellanti was an active member of the Special Library Association in the business and finance division and its Southern California chapter, including a tenure as board president from 1989 to 1990. He was also a founding member of the Academic Business Library Directors, which he chaired from 1997 to 1999.

Upon his retirement from UCLA in 2005, Bellanti became a volunteer reading tutor at a nearby elementary school and a board member of the Friends of the Mid-Valley Regional Library. He also supported Claire in her activities with the Jane Austen Society of North America by serving as an enthusiastic member. An avid traveler and theater aficionado, he once flew to the U.K. on a Thursday, attended three plays in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and flew home the following Monday.

The family will be holding a celebration of life in July. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UCLA Library Bob and Claire Bellanti Performing Arts Special Collections Discretionary Fund (61317O): bit.ly/BellantiUCLALibraryFund.