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Bata: Library of the Future

Person walking through new library

Bata: Library of the Future

90% Complete: Bata Transformation Update

Scheduling details and a sneak peek at features and progress through our photo gallery

Everyone is eager to see the results of the Bata Library transformation underway over the past year and to hear an update on progress to date. While approximately 90% of the construction and renovation process has been completed to date, we are looking at a phased-in return to the Library this fall.

Trent Facilities staff are working closely with project partners to put the finishing touches on this exciting renovation. More on dates and details will be shared as they become available.

Despite unexpected delays, our full suite of Library services and resources will continue to be available to all students and faculty as the academic year begins. Library staff will be available to assist new and returning students. As you are reading this message, books are being reloaded back onto the shelves at Bata.

Get a glimpse into construction progress over the past year during this $18 million renovation.

Photo Gallery

In other Library news:

  • Trent University is working with the Internet Archives to digitize and preserve 250,000 books from the Thomas J. Bata Library through the Open Libraries project.
  • Advancement reports the successful completion of the $2 million fundraising campaign for the Bata Library and has since raised a further $145,000 for a Bata Library Furniture fund to restore, refurbish and return some of the precious original furniture. 
  • During convocation, Alumni Affairs hosted a reunion for the Classes of 1964 and 1965 and several of Trent’s founders attended, including Professor Tom Symons, founding president of Trent University. Among the special guests were Paul Merrick, the lead architect who worked with master architect Ron Thom on Bata Library and Molly Thom, widow of the late Ron Thom. Mr. Merrick said the work was “dazzling” and expected the new library to be even more spectacular than when it originally opened.  

Building the Library of the Future

Fueled by a recent $8.1 million funding injection from the federal and provincial governments, as well as University contributions, including donor gifts, the Bata Library will undergo an $18 million transformation into a library of the future – and home to the new Bata Research and Innovation Cluster.

Recognizing our library’s place as the academic heart of the University, the revitalization of the library will ensure Trent’s digital and physical collections are preserved, while at the same time, improving access to the world’s knowledge, and ensuring our library services respond to the rapidly changing needs of students and faculty.

Exciting New Features for the Library of the Future

Like today’s most contemporary libraries, the revitalized Bata Library will offer many diverse social and experiential opportunities with the aim to promote community and a sense of belonging – one of the hallmarks of a Trent education. Trent is also known for our collaborative learning environment. The new library will build on this environment by allowing students to move seamlessly from collaborative engagement in class to collaborative study spaces in the library. Trent’s library of the future will also be well-equipped to ensure our students, faculty and staff can meet future demands around technology and new models of educational delivery. New technological infrastructure is also being explored, which will allow users to search everything within Trent’s resources and outside of Trent at the same time – ensuring all materials can be accessed anytime, anywhere.  

Features to look for in Trent’s new library of the future include:

  • An entrepreneurship and social innovation centre – providing a valuable site for social engagement in experiential learning, and development of new experiential learning projects and work placements for students
  • Various locations for the carefully selected book and non-print collections – our modernized library will feature both print collections and modern and expanding digital resources
  • Three research centres: Trent Centre for Aging and Society; Indigenous Environmental Studies Research Centre; Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre
  • Two visualization labs – many disciplines are engaging with art and technology through new mediums, such as gaming, and Trent's new lab will allow for the creation of more sophisticated visualization tools – including virtual realities, 3D printing – for teaching and research
  • Critical Making Studio will give students, faculty, and librarians access to the tools they need in order to produce objects that will assist their research, teaching, and learning
  • Educational design research studio to support faculty across all disciplines in learning about and implementing the most recent developments in higher education teaching practice
  • A presentation practice room - a space where students can prepare, create and practice presentations for seminars and classes with their peers, or independently 
  • A wide selection of interactive student spaces (group and individual) to promote social engagement and collaborative learning - spaces like this are central to modern libraries
  • Design elements to promote environmental sustainability, including a green wall

All Library Services & Resources will be Available Throughout Transformation

To repurpose, refresh and modernize all public areas of the Bata Library, including a complete overhaul of environmental, heating and electrical systems, and to meet the federal government’s timelines for funding the project, the building will be closed from May 1, 2017 to summer 2018. Although news of the building’s closure for renovations has caused some concerns, a dedicated team at the University is working hard to ensure all students, faculty and staff will continue to have access to collections, as well as information and research support services. Full information on the following plans will be shared as soon as they are available:

  • PRINT COLLECTION: The integration of a carefully deselected collection of Bata Library’s current print holdings will be a key feature of the newly transformed Bata Library. About 50% of the Bata Library’s current print holdings will return when the building reopens. Priority will be given to materials that: respond to current and identified future needs for teaching, learning and research; historically important and unique collections; materials where dependable alternate formats (e.g. digital or microform) are not available; items which are only available at Trent; and more. The revitalization of the library will ensure Trent’s digital and physical collections are preserved, while improving access to the world’s knowledge, and ensuring our library services respond to the rapidly changing needs of students, faculty and our community.
  • ACCESS TO THE STACKS: For the duration of the renovations, the library’s specialized collections, such as archives and rare books, maps, and microforms, along with the equipment and space needed to consult them, will be temporarily moved to an off-campus, downtown location at the former Shoppers Drug Mart store (225 Charlotte St.), fully accessible by all members of the Trent community by public transportation. The circulating collections on floors 3 and 4 will be placed in a second off-campus location. Clients will be able to request books needed through TOPCAT, the library catalogue, and the requested items will be delivered to an on-campus service point in the new Student Centre for pick-up.
  • OTHER LIBRARY SERVICES: On the Symons Campus, an on-campus service point will be open seven days a week, supporting the needs of students and faculty who frequent the main campus on a daily basis. Library materials ordered from the off-campus locations during the reconstruction will be transported to and from this service point. All current library services (e.g. book loans, interlibrary loans, research and instructional support, data and GIS support) will continue to be available. Access to all digital resources and collections, which accounts for over 90% of library resources regularly used by students, will NOT be affected by the temporary relocation of library services. All digital online resources will be available, as will the collections and services of the Archives and the Maps, Data and Government Information Centre (MaDGIC).
  • STUDY AND COLLABORATIVE SPACE: Easing the transition during reconstruction, the new Student Centre will be able to accommodate members of the Trent community looking for places to meet, study and collaborate on campus. The University has also relocated all of the library’s 950 study seats to repurposed locations across campus and added an additional 75 study seats available for use when classes begin.The 1,025 relocated study seats will match the hours previously held by Bata Library, including extended hours during exams, and can be easily located using the available interactive map. The majority of these spaces will be accessible and include quiet, group and computer study space. In fact, the same number of computers that were available in the library have been relocated across campus and even more printing stations have been added to ensure simple access to computers and printing throughout the year.

It’s an exciting time to be at Trent University. We invite you to stay tuned and check back to this website for further updates and developments on our library of the future.