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Bata: Library of the Future

Person walking through new library

Bata: Library of the Future

Information for Current Students

Bata Library Revitalization Project

Posted: January 27, 2017; updated September 1, 2017
​Information on this page will be updated and added as further details become available. Please check back for updates.

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, 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

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 Trent and students like me?

This exciting project will transition the Bata Library into a modern, student-focused building that is the academic heart of the Peterborough campus. It will improve the building environment, sustainability, increase accessibility, and expand learning spaces.

Does the library need to be closed for the renovation?

The library building will be closed, but library services will continue 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 I get my books and other research materials?

All 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).

How long will it take for me 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. Students will receive their requests for library material which is in our collection within 24 hours of making a request. Additional time may be required for inter-library loan service, as well as requests made over weekend hours. 

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.

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 currently 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. 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 pieces, like bound print journals (of which 90% or more are now available digitally), that are not redistributed, will be recycled.

I use the library for quiet study and/or to work in groups. 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. For updates on the progress of this project, please visit the Trent Central Student Association website.

I know there are a lot of students who are employed at the library. What happens to those jobs?

During the renovation and transitional process of relocating the books to the off-campus sites, there will continue to be a variety of job opportunities available to students.

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 students, faculty and staff 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 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 are served well during this time.

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. A new Student Advisory Committee has been set up by the library and we want to hear your innovative ideas to improve the experience at Trent University. Students can also directly contact the library through various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and even by email. We encourage Trent students to start a discussion with TCSA executives, college cabinet presidents, senate library committee reps, or student senators. If you have any specific questions about the renovation process, floor plans or would like to share an idea or suggestion, please email University Librarian Robert Clarke at libraryadministration@trentu.ca