On Friday November 16, over 200 Trent students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and dignitaries celebrated the grand reopening of Thomas J. Bata Library after its transformational renovations over the past 18 months.
The $18-million library transformation project was funded with $7 million from the federal government, $1.1 million from the provincial government, $7.9 million from the university, and $2.1 million from philanthropic donations.
Longtime friends and supporters of the university David and Joan Moore donated $1 million to help begin the planning process of the transformation in 2015, and then committed another $250000 in matching dollars to inspire others to give. Other significant donations to the transformed Bata Library included funding from Paul Odette ’72, whose father helped build the Bata Library in 1967; and the Bata family through the Bata Family Shoe Foundation.
The Moores and Odette joined President Leo Groarke, Chancellor Don Tapscott, university librarian Robert Clarke, Curve Lake Elder Doug Williams and founding president Thomas Symons at the reopening celebration.
Politicians from all three levels of government were also present for the opening. Mayor-elect Diane Therrien, member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Northumberland-Peterborough South David Piccini, and member of Parliament (MP) for Peterborough-Kawartha and Minister of Status of Women Maryam Monsef attended the celebration. MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha Dave Smith also made a rare appearance.
Elder Williams, President Groarke, Chancellor Tapscott, MP Monsef, MPP Piccini, Robert Clarke, and David Moore all gave remarks, expressing excitement for the completed project.
“Our vision is a modern, state-of-the-art, connected university library that remains central to the learning experience at Trent. This includes a highly-adaptive, interactive and collaborative environment, which allows students to take command of their academic experience with access to state-of-the-art technology, and knowledgeable staff, in intellectually stimulating spaces,” said President Groarke. “It is wonderful to see this vision come to life in the new Bata.”
Library staff member Kyle Pugh, a fourth-year undergraduate student in History, was also invited to speak on the behalf of students.
“If there was one thing I learned about the renovation, it’s that every decision was made with students in mind,” Pugh remarked.
Pugh was also tasked with presenting the Moores with the gift of a bookshelf in honour of their generosity made from wood taken from the Bata library trellises.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees were invited to explore the renewed Bata library, with more ribbons cut inaugurating new spaces, refreshments, and an open bar.
The “library of the future” features both print and digital resources, updated student areas and study spaces, as well as three research centres, two labs, two studios, and a space for entrepreneurs.
The Trent Centre for Aging and Society, the Indigenous Environmental Institute, and the Canadian Centre for Environmental Modelling in Chemistry are all multidisciplinary research centres with spaces on Bata’s fourth floor.
The Data and Visualization Lab is part of the Maps, Data & Government Information Centre (MaDGIC) for geography and geographic information systems. It can now provide faculty and students with state-of-the-art tools, including advanced computers, spatial and statistical software, and 3D and VR analysis and display technologies. The Visualization Space and Creativity Lab is a state-of-the-art facility for research and learning.
The Odette Critical Making Studio provides access to technology and software to aid students in creating both physical and digital objects where knowledge and ideas are rendered into the material world. The Deborah Berrill Teaching Design Studio will support faculty across all disciplines in learning about and implementing the most recent developments in higher education teaching practice.
The Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation Centre on the second floor of the library is a space for business training, workshops, and networking in collaboration with FastStart Peterborough and Innovation Cluster of Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
Though the last of the move back into the west-bank location — the archives — was completed days after the grand opening, the long wait is now over for students looking for resources and study space in Bata library.