The Friends of the Bata Library was established in 1978 as a support group for the Bata Library. It consisted of citizens who held regular evenings with guest speakers and whose membership fees contributed to donations to the library and archives at Trent University. The initial meeting was held May 23, 1978 with Professors Gordon Roper, R.D. Chambers, F.A. Hagar, Graham Cogley, Elwood Jones, Librarian John Wiseman, and Head Librarian Brian Heeney. They proposed that Michael Treadwell head the Friends of the Bata Library Steering Committee as chairman and in the summer of 1978 Brian Heeney and F.A. Hagar were to contact various colleges and universities in the U.S.A., Britain and Canada to find information about other Friends programs. By October 12, 1978 the formation of a Friends group at Trent was well under way. The committee outlined the purpose of the new group as fostering the role of the Library as the intellectual heart of the University and community which it served. The Friends would be helping to accomplish their purpose through their fees thus providing a special fund for the acquisitions of rare books and manuscripts by encouraging gifts and bequests of books and manuscripts from the wider community and by enriching the intellectual life of the University through their participation in the meetings of the Friends. The meetings took the form of informal lectures and seminars on subjects of general interest, while focusing on the Library's collections and archives. The committee solicited members by inviting people to become founding members and to come to the founding meeting of the new group. The founding meeting was held October 27, 1978 at 4:OO pm with the official opening of the Bata Library's new A.J.M. Smith Collection with Dr. Smith being the guest of honour and speaker. With diminishing attendance in the years leading up to 2011, a memorandum of agreement pertaining to the Friends’ endowed funds was signed on April 19, 2011 between Trent University as represented by the University Library and the Executive Committee of the Friends of Bata Library. Under the terms of the agreement, the Friends continues to support the library and archives through the purchase of rare and special materials.