University of Bath

Visitor access to the University Library

Visitors are welcome to use the Library but there are specific rules about when they can enter and varying advice for different types of visitor.

General access information for Library visitors

We welcome visitors to the Library, but there are strict rules about when you may enter as described on this page. Please be aware that unaccompanied children under the age of 16 will not be allowed access to the Library.

The Library building is usually open every day of the year but before travel, please check the opening hours to find out when services are staffed and also check news on the library homepage for any notifications of changes to staffed services or opening hours.

When you arrive, please visit the University Reception Desk in the Library entrance with appropriate identification as indicated below.  If you do not have a valid University of Bath library card, you will be required to sign a visitors book before entering.

You should also read the information about Library services for visitors.

The access arrangements for different categories of visitor are described in the sections below.

SCONUL Access visitors

Many UK Higher Education Libraries are part of the SCONUL Access scheme. This is a reciprocal access and borrowing scheme where members of other university libraries can apply to have access and borrowing rights at other libraries in the scheme. You should apply for SCONUL Access membership online via your home institution as described in the SCONUL Access registration process.

You will be able to use the Library for reference purposes and some types of users may be allowed to borrow up to 5 items as members of the SCONUL Access scheme. This membership does not provide off-campus access to online library resources and you will not receive a username and password for the campus computers.

SCONUL Access visitors can enter the building on any day but we ask that you arrive after 9am and leave before 9pm.

  • You can ask for a SCONUL Access membership card from the Library Issue Desk Monday to Friday between 9.00am (9.30am Wednesdays) and 4.45pm.
  • You must bring your valid library/university membership card and the printed official confirmation email from your home institution to obtain the SCONUL Access card.
  • We cannot use printed photos for your card, but we will take your picture when you come into the Library.

We will ask for up to date contact information which will be stored on your record. This information will only be used to send you updates about your library account.

University Alumni

Alumni membership is free for 12 months from your graduation date on production of your letter from the Alumni office, or your Degree Certificate or your recently expired student Library card. 

New or renewed Alumni cards can only be created at the Issue Desk on weekdays between 9am and 4.45pm when the library is staffed. 

Applicants for Alumni membership who graduated from the University of Bath more than 12 months ago will be asked to pay an annual membership fee, currently £50. 

This membership does not provide off-campus access to online library resources and you will not receive a username and password for the campus computers.

We will ask for up to date contact information which will be stored on your record. This information will only be used to send you updates about your library account.

More information about getting an Alumni Library card.

Please also visit our Library Services for Alumni webpages.

Visitors from other Universities

Visitors from other higher education institutions can enter the building on any day but we ask that you arrive after 9am and leave before 9pm. 

When you visit you must produce proof of current university membership, for example a University or University Library membership card.

You will be required to sign a visitors book at the University Reception desk in the library entrance before coming into the Library. 

You will only be able to use the Library in a reference capacity and do not have any automatic borrowing rights.

External members of the Library

If you are not eligible to borrow items under the SCONUL Scheme, you could you apply for External membership to obtain a library card with some borrowing rights and be able to visit the Library any time that it is open. 

Applicants for external membership must pay an annual fee, currently £150. 

This membership does not provide off-campus access to online library resources and you will not receive a username and password for the campus computers.

We will ask for up to date contact information which will be stored on your record. This information will only be used to send you updates about your library account.

More information about getting a Visitor Library card

School and College visits to the University Library

Find out more about the support we offer you from our school and college visitor page.

Discover why you should visit, when and how to arrange a visit, plus who to contact and what resources are available to you.

Groups of students from schools and colleges may only visit the library by prior arrangement.

Members of the public

You may enter the Library during any weekend throughout the year or any day during the University vacation, but we ask that you arrive after 9am and leave before 9pm.  

You can check academic year dates online

If you want to visit at any other time, you must have obtained prior permission from the University Librarian or a member of senior library staff.

Admission does not entitle you to borrow books unless you have become an External member. The Library is also a member of the INSPIRE Access Scheme. This enables members of the public to request that their local public library refers them to a higher education library.

Borrowing library stock is not possible under the Inspire scheme.  Instead you would need to apply for external membership.