A Real Replacement for Bata

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Last issue, we listened to students’ opinions of the Student Centre. We also asked about their thoughts, worries, and feelings of nostalgia, if any, towards Bata. As a study space, many loved Bata, but Peterborough and the Trent campus itself is replete with study space options for everyone. First and foremost: the Student Centre, with its multiple tables, designated study spaces, and club group rooms. While some were for it as a Student Centre, many felt it lacked that studious air that we all need to sink into reading.

If you’re looking for an alternative, there’s always the OC Commons room or the LEC Junior Common room. Any of the cafeterias can and are frequently converted into mini study spaces for the many of us who like to snack and study.

If a change in scenery is what you need, there are more than a handful of privately owned cafes, bistros, and coffee shops downtown that either offer their own WIFI or are in an accessible spot for the free downtown WIFI.

If all else fails, Tim Horton’s is an around-the-clock option and any student’s best friend for a hot cup of java, sturdy tables, and good internet connection. If none of this appeals to you, or you are just craving that old-school library feel? While Trent may not currently have a functioning library, Peterborough itself does. Kind of.

The Peterborough Public Library’s permanent location has been closed for renovations and reconstruction for 18 months now. Closed on April 30, 2016, a temporary library opened in its place on the main level of the Peterborough Square and has been a reliable and quiet space for students and many others. They also boast a well-catalogued storage system, so while the space cannot fully accommodate the volume of their books and resources, borrowing books is never really a hassle. Better still, Peterborough has another library, the De la Fosse Branch on Park Street, just on the other side of Lansdowne Street.

During its 18-month long renovation, and even prior to that, there were many objections, concerns as well as aversions to the entire project. Some believed the budget set aside for it was too large and too exuberant, an opinion even voiced by a member of City Council. Another councillor did not believe it was a smart decision giving that paper books and most things in print are rarely ever used or appreciated in our digital age.

Despite objection and worries, the renovation started and continued successfully. In a way, it seems to be a great addition to the upcoming plans for reawakening the potential currently lying dormant in downtown Peterborough. First was the announcement of an $11.5-million building of an urban park that would extend development to the certain areas of Charlotte, Lewis and Bethune Street.

Next, we heard of the coming of the seemingly fancy Y Lofts right on George Street. Now we welcome a new, improved, and modern library that will be more than a place to meet with friends or borrow books.

While the new downtown branch is still under construction, it is finally in its last stages and looks amazing so far. Despite suffering a nine-month long delay in its construction, mostly due to heavy rains in the summer as well as other construction issues, they have managed to stay within the budget (or close enough to it). Compared to its previous outlook, it seems more spacious, and bright, and much more modern.

The heavily glassed building allows a lot more natural light in which enhances the open spaces and allows for easier and longer hours of studying without the draining after-effects of fluorescents. Boasting about 9000 square-feet of pure library space, it has newer technology, quiet study rooms and areas, a large children’s section, and designated areas for teens as well.

In addition to all of the above, it has ample space for meetings and community programs, which the city plans to emphasize and publicize at the grand opening, spearheading a wide array of programs and events in the first month after its opening.

The grand opening of the renovated building is set to take place on January 30. The temporary library space, in the meantime, is unfortunately closed and has been since December 30, to allow for transfer of books, materials, and other supplies to the permanent location.

So, if you’re still mourning the loss of our beloved Bata or would like to study within a real library setting, the grand opening is open to the public and will include a tour of the facilities as well refreshments afterwards.