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Bata Library Celebrates 50 Years

September 6, 2019

Trent community honours the 50 year legacy of the Thomas J. Bata Library

Trent University students walk through the Bata library atrium.

An iconic piece of architecture and one of the “coolest libraries in Canada” is celebrating a major milestone this year. It has been 50 years since the Thomas J. Bata Library first opened its doors on September 6, 1969, with visionary architect Ronald Thom, founding Trent president Tom Symons and prominent business owner and philanthropist, Thomas Bata on hand to welcome the community.

Since the library opened its doors, it has been a great many things to different people: a gathering place to exchange ideas, a quiet and comfortable study spot, and a landmark location to connect with friends. To many students, faculty, staff and alumni, it has long served as the academic heart of the institution. In 2018, Trent unveiled the Bata Library Transformation, as the $20 million renovation project came to completion. The building was modernized into a state-of-the-art facility equipped to support the needs of the future, while also preserving an important piece of Trent’s past.

“As the Bata Library celebrates 50 years of learning and innovation this is an important time of reflection,” notes Jacqueline Muldoon, provost and vice-president Academic. “The Bata Library has a legacy of promoting community and a sense of belonging – hallmarks of the Trent experience.”

Today, the Trent community is able to enjoy a more contemporary Bata Library with some exciting new spaces and features including the Critical Making Studio and Data Visualization Lab. The Critical Making Studio, compete with 3D printer, advanced digital cameras and scanners (and a sewing machine). The Data Visualization Lab, provides powerful computing and touch screen display technologies for GIS and data processing.

An academic hub that includes classrooms and study space, the Bata Library is also the new home to three research centres: the Trent Centre for Aging and Society, the Centre for Environmental Modelling in Chemistry, and the Indigenous Environmental Institute.

Additionally, there are also 12 new group study rooms, a presentation practice room for students, a Training and Discourse Room, and the Deborah Berrill Teaching Studio, which supports the Centre for Teaching and Learning’s instructor development.

See how Bata Library has transformed over the past 50 years.