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Bata: Library of the Future

Person walking through new library

Bata: Library of the Future

Information for Alumni

The Bata Library revitalization project will result in a spectacular modernized library, opening at Trent in May 2018. As alumni, many of you studied in the library and made use of  the iconic space during your time at Trent. We recognize the importance of this heritage building as a cornerstone of Ron Thom’s legacy and as the academic heart of the institution. This exciting project will build on that history and further the Bata Library’s importance and integrity. We invite you to learn more about the project here.

​Information on this page will be updated and added as further details become available. Please check back for updates.

Posted: February 7, 2017; updated September 1, 2017

I heard the Bata Library is being renovated. What is happening?

Trent University’s iconic Bata Library is set to undergo an amazing revitalization and transformation. Starting this spring, and fueled by recent funding, the Library will undergo an $18 million transformation into a library of the future – and home to the new Bata Research and Innovation Cluster. The transformation will be carried out in a way that maintains and enhances a historically-significant building designed by one of Canada’s most renowned architects, Ron Thom. 

Why is this project important for the University?

This exciting project will transition the Bata Library into one of the most recently transformed  university libraries available. With a more contemporary view of university libraries today, the newly transformed Bata Library with the Bata Research and Innovation Cluster will provide members of the Trent community with access to all of the print and  digital collections needed within a library space better configured to meet students’ needs to work collaboratively and independently in a modern, aesthetically-pleasing, environmentally-friendly facility.

When the renovations are complete, what will the new library look like?

The library is the academic heart of Trent University. This transformation will ensure the Bata Library maintains this important space/role on campus for years to come. In the newly renovated space, faculty, staff and students will find:

  • Greatly enhanced collaborative working space, along with designated areas for various levels of contemplative and individual study
  • An entrepreneurship and social innovation centre
  • Various locations for the newly curated book and non-print collections
  • Three research centres: Trent Centre for Aging and Society; Indigenous Environmental Studies Research Centre; Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre
  • Two visualization labs
  • Educational design research studio
  • A presentation practice room
  • A  wide selection of interactive student spaces (group and individual)
  • Design elements to promote environmental sustainability, including a green wall

The Bata Library is an iconic building on Trent’s Peterborough campus. Will the heritage and famous Ron Thom architecture be preserved?

The preservation of the Bata Library’s historical architectural foundation is of the utmost importance in this project. The transformation will be carried out in a way that maintains and enhances a historically-significant building designed by one of Canada’s most renowned architects, Ron Thom. Heritage consultants have been retained and are working hand-in-hand with the project developers and architects to ensure the architectural heritage of the building is respected and maintained. The architectural firm, Perkins + Will, understands and respects the Ron Thom architecture.

Is it true that the print collection will be removed and not replaced?

The integration of a carefully curated 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 and faculty.

When will the Library be closed for renovations?

The Bata Library revitalization is projected to be completed in one year. In order 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 May 1, 2018.

Does the library need to be closed for the renovation?

The library building will be closed, but library collections and services will continue to be available throughout the project through alternate processes and locations. In order 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 May 1, 2018.

Did the University research and explore other options aside from a full closure? Does the building really need to be fully closed?

University administration, together with the architects and suppliers, explored several options for this revitalization project. In the end, it was determined that a full, 12-month temporary closure of the building was the only efficient, safe, and cost-effective option that would meet the deadline. Keeping portions of the building open during renovations would have extended the timelines and made the project ineligible for funding. The digital nature of much of today’s library material makes this type of transition more doable, however the University administration understands the library building is a vital study and research space and is doing everything to ensure that all members of the Trent community continue to be well-served during the period of reconstruction.

As an alum, can I stilI access books and other research materials during the temporary closure?

In the upcoming academic year, all alumni, students, faculty, and staff will continue to have access to books and collections, as well as information technology, and research support services, throughout the duration of the renovation process.

The library’s specialized collections, such as the archives, 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 (225 Charlotte Street), accessible by public transportation.

The circulating collections will be placed in a second off-campus location (2109 Whittington Drive). This location will not be open to the public, but students, faculty and staff will be able to request items from the library collection through TOPCAT, the library catalogue. The requested items will be delivered to a temporary on-campus service point for pick up (SC 203).

On the Symons Campus, an on-campus service point in the new Student Centre will be open to support the needs of faculty and students with service hours similar to our current library service hours. 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. reserves, book loans, interlibrary loans, research and instructional support, data and GIS support) will continue to be available. All online digital resources and collections will continue to be available during the temporary relocation of library services, as will the collections and services of the Archives and the Maps, Data and Government Information Centre (MaDGIC).

What is the cost of this project and how is it being funded?

The total cost of the Bata Library revitalization project is approximately $18 million. The project is being funded and supported through: $7 million in funding from the federal government’s Strategic Investment Fund; $1.1 million in funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development; and $3.9 million in University contributions, including a $1 million donation already received and a $1 million fundraising campaign that is now getting underway. See below for more information on how you can get involved and support this exciting project. The remainder of the funds will be financed through Trent University.

I am excited about this project and would like to make a donation to support the Bata Library transformation. What’s the best way to make a gift?

The multi-million library renewal project is a key initiative in Trent University’s $50 Million Campaign: Unleash the Potential. The realization of this project will depend on the generosity and support of our alumni and donors. All gifts in support of the library project are most welcome. As a Trent alum, you can make a one-time gift by filling in the form on our Give Now website, or stretch your support even further through a monthly gift or pledge.

If I have any further questions, can I contact Trent University for more details?

Definitely! We want to hear from you. Alumni can directly contact the library through various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and even by email. If you have any specific questions about the renovation process, floor plans or would like to share an idea or suggestion, please email the University Librarian, Robert Clarke at libraryadministration@trentu.ca.