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Bata: Library of the Future

Person walking through new library

Bata: Library of the Future

Information for Faculty & Staff

All Trent staff and faculty will want to be aware of this exciting transformation of the Bata Library that will result in a spectacular modernized library in May 2018. You are encouraged to use this website to familiarize yourself with the details of this milestone project and refer students to this site for more information regarding alternate library services during the renovations from May 1, 2017 – May 1, 2018.

​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 our faculty, staff and students with access to print and digital collections within a library space better configured to meet our community’s need 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

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.

If the library is closed, how will we, and our students, receive books and other research materials during the reconstruction?

All faculty, staff and students 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 (SC 203) for pick up .

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).

How long will it take to get the books and resources I request through the on-campus service point?

There will be regularly-scheduled deliveries of materials to and from the temporary off-campus locations  to the on-campus service point. Faculty, staff, students, and other library users will receive their requested material within 24 hours of placing a request. Additional time may be required for inter-library loan service, as well as requests made over weekend hours.

What kind of print collection will be available in the new library next year?

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 review of materials will begin with the collections on the main floor, including reference, folios, pamphlets, VHS tapes, microforms, and the reserves collection.  The latter will be reviewed to ensure that materials required for currently offered courses remain available until the building closes at the end of April 2017.

Due to the scope of the project, the bulk of the deselection process is not likely to occur until after the Bata Library has moved out of the building and into its temporary storage locations. There will be some consultations with faculty members and different departments on certain materials before a final decision is made.

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.

What happens to the rest of the books and materials that are not moved back into the library when it reopens?

An evaluation of current library materials is underway. Throughout this process, materials that will be removed from the library will be made available to Trent community members and the broader community, similar to the current first floor free book area. More details on this process will be available shortly. The library will also work with external firms, such as Better World Books, which will take materials and make them available to libraries around the world that can use them. Some items, like bound volumes of print journals (of which 90% or more are now available digitally) that are not redistributed, will be recycled.

I use some of the rooms in the library for teaching/meeting space. Where will I be able to do this when the library is closed?

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.

Will the Student Centre be open on time? Is there a contingency plan in place if it’s not?

There is a strict deadline in place for the completion of the Student Centre. Construction is planned to be completed for fall 2017 and the Student Centre will be open for the 2017/18 academic year.

I work in Bata Library. Where will I work while the building is closed?

For the duration of the renovations, staff and faculty offices in Bata Library will be temporarily relocated. Facilities Management is working closely with each affected department to find suitable temporary locations for employees to work from for the duration of the construction. As locations are finalized in the coming weeks, more information will be provided. 

There are a lot of staff who are employed at the library. What happens to those jobs?

The transformation of the library will not result in any lost jobs for Trent University staff. In fact, it’s likely that the revitalization of the Bata Library will result in career development opportunities for many employees who work in the library.

What are you telling future/incoming Trent students? Are they being made aware of the closure?

Information is being shared with future Trent students through various communications as they connect with the University’s recruitment team, including during tours, at Open House events and future orientation sessions, and through information planned for e-communications, the applicant portal and parent pages of the website. To maintain the quality of education offered at Trent, there will be plenty of interesting spaces and technology available to new first-year students throughout the campus and in the new Student Centre. All faculty, staff and students will continue to have access to collections, as well as information and research support services, throughout the duration of the temporary closure.

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 consultants, 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 are served well during this time.

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.

How much will this project cost and how is the University paying for it?

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. The remainder of the funds will be financed through Trent University.

Can I provide input/feedback on this project?

Definitely! We want to hear from you. Staff and faculty are invited to directly contact the library through various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or through 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.