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Bata: Library of the Future

Person walking through new library

Bata: Library of the Future

Bata Library Transformation Update: Full Library Services Remain Available

Phased move-in approach planned for Trent’s library of the future

Furniture is ready and awaiting final placement, books have returned to the shelves, and the final touches are coming together, as the transformation of the Bata Library nears to a close.  

All parties are working together to put the finishing touches on the renovation project for the earliest possible opening. 

Full library services remain available

The University anticipates a phased-in move later this fall, prioritizing student access to books and library resources. In the meantime, the full suite of library services and resources continues to be available to all students and faculty with a service point in the Student Centre and access to the archives on Charlotte Street. Library staff is available to assist new and returning students.

Why has the opening been delayed?

The plan for Trent’s library of the future, presented to the Trent community in early 2017, has been implemented. In some instances, spaces had to be relocated on the plans to better accommodate the structural limitations of the 49-year old Bata building. 

Challenges associated with pre-existing structural and mechanical conditions, some present since 1967, added eight weeks of construction time to the project. Additionally, the general contractor has encountered some business and resources challenges that have slowed progress late in the project.

The remaining work entails a number of different pieces. For instance, there are some changes to the HVAC and other building systems mandated as a result of the building inspection process. In addition, some finishing work (e.g. cabinetry, painting, installing door locks, etc.) is still to be completed. With the phased move-in approach, there may be workers on-site making minor repairs, touchups, etc. intermittently, after the building opens.

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

Photo Gallery

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 Institute; Canadian Centre for Environmental Modelling in Chemistry
  • 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
  • Much attention has also been paid to preserving and refreshing much of the original Ron Thom décor and furnishings.

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.  

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. More on dates and details regarding the re-opening of Bata will be shared as information and updates become available.