A Message from the University Librarian

Message from the University Librarian

Welcome to the Trent University Library and Archives! We are committed to providing our students, faculty and the Trent community with resources, services and collections that support and enhance learning, teaching, innovation and the university’s research mission. I invite you to explore our digital and print resources, visit our modern library spaces and engage with our supportive and knowledgeable team. Our librarians, archivists and information specialists are ready to connect you with the information you need, and will lend their expertise to help you leverage new technologies.

Bata Library is the heart of the Symons Campus, situated on the banks of the Otonabee River, with beautiful views of the river, drumlin and surrounding campus. Bata Library is also home to the Trent University Archives, which is a regional repository for historical records related to the Trent Valley area.

The Trent Durham GTA Library and Learning Centre is our branch library located at the Trent campus on Thornton Road in Oshawa. It is a professionally staffed library serving the students and faculty on the Durham GTA Campus.

On December 12, 2019, Trent launched a new academic search tool called Omni. Omni is a collaborative project undertaken by 14 Ontario University Libraries to share resources and information. One search using Omni will quickly find all the relevant items in Trent’s collection, whether the material is available online or in print. Omni users can easily access scholarly resources such as books, e-books, journal articles, databases, videos, maps, media and more. Omni users can also search the collections of 13 other Ontario university libraries, and students and faculty can request material through Trent’s interlibrary loan service.

The Bata Library was fully transformed in 2017-18 and reopened in Fall 2018 with beautiful new spaces and services. The focal point of the Bata Library’s atrium is a large living green wall providing a beautiful welcoming space for students, and reflecting Trent’s commitment to the environment. The library has 13 bookable group study rooms available for group collaboration or practicing presentations. There are also dedicated graduate reading rooms, a critical making studio, and a digitization and visualization lab. The Bata Library is also home to three of Trent University’s research centres and the Centre for Indigenous Studies. Having these researchers located in the library building encourages students to bridge the gap between personal study and collaboration with faculty research.               

I hope the Library and Archives' rich digital and physical collections, beautiful spaces, and advanced information technologies will help you to achieve your academic goals, and provide you a place for individual study, collaborating with others, using our information resources, or engaging with our dedicated team of librarians and information specialists.

I welcome your feedback and encourage you to reach out to me at robertclarke@trentu.ca with your ideas or comments.



Robert Clarke


BIO for Robert F. Clarke

Robert Clarke joined Trent University as University Librarian on January 1, 2007. As a member of Trent’s senior academic team, he is responsible for the planning, operation and development of the Library and Archives, and for copyright management. Clarke was a key member of the planning team for the Bata Library transformation project in 2017-18, which involved the complete relocation of the library, staff and collections during the renovations. 

Prior to his arrival at Trent, Clarke spent 18 years in the libraries of McGill University. During that time, he served as head of the business school library; head of the Nahum Gelber Law Library; division chief for the eight faculty-based branch libraries; and Principal Librarian of the flagship Humanities and Social Sciences Library. He was closely involved with the design and construction of the Nehum Gelber Law Library (1995-98) and consulted on the redesign of the of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (2005).

Clarke holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Master of Library Science degrees, both from McGill University. His contributions to the library profession include two terms as Treasurer of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL); member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN); President of the Eastern Canada Chapter of the Special Libraries Association; and President of La Corporation des bibliothécaires professionels du Québec (Corporation of Professional Librarians of Quebec).

Robert is a veteran of the Canadian Army, and served in various roles as a Reserve officer from 1975 to 2011. He was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration in 1984 and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. He also a member of the Order of Saint John (rank of Serving Brother).

When not in the library, Robert enjoys spending time with his wife, 2 dogs & 11 grandchildren.

Past University Librarians

Jack Martin (1964-1973)
Bruce Cossar (1973-1977)
Brian Heeney (1977-1981)
John Wiseman (1981-1985)
Murray Genoe (1985-1997)
Tom Eadie (1997-2006)