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University of Bath

Borrowing from the University Library

Advice for Library users about borrowing, returning, renewing loans and reserving items from the Library with information about checking your borrower account.

Covid-19 and borrowing from the University Library

While measures are in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) you will not be required to return any loan to the Library.

However if you have any queries please contact the Library Issue Desk at

Questions will be answered online by library staff.


University students and staff can borrow up to 30 items from the subject floors plus 4 items from the Short Loan collection.

DVDs from the Language Learning Zone collection are also available for loan.

Other members of the Library such as SCONUL Access and Visitor cardholders, may borrow up to 5 items from the subject floors.

You can borrow books and other material by using the Self-Issue machines on Level 2. You will need your Library card and PIN.

How to use the self-issue machines (MP4)

You should only use your own Library Card - if you are found to be using someone else's card, you may have your Library privileges withdrawn.

Loan periods

The Library operates an automatic renewals policy for most of the items in stock. When you borrow a library loan item, it will be due for return OR renewal of the loan in 7-days. The Self-Issue machines and your borrower account information will show this due date.

At the due date, the Library will attempt to automatically renew your loan for another 7-days. If this is successful, you do not need to do anything to extend the loan period yourself.

You will receive an email advising you that the item is due for return to the Library when it cannot be renewed. You should always try to return the loan item as soon as possible in response to these messages.

Even if nobody else requests your loan item(s), the automatic renewal of the due date will stop after 12 months. This policy is to minimise loss of library stock and ensure long term loan items are available for users if and when requested.

Loans cannot be renewed when:

  • another borrower has placed a request for a book
  • you have had the book for 12 months already, it will need to be checked by Library staff to renew the loan
  • your library membership has expired (as shown on the date printed on your library card)

The loan items listed below are not automatically renewed:

Short Loan Collection materials

To borrow a Short Loan item, please ask for it at the Issue Desk on Level 2 during staffed hours

Short Loan items can be borrowed for 24 hours. This means they are due for return to the Library by midnight on the next working day, Monday to Friday. Short Loan books borrowed on Fridays are due for return by the end of the day the following Monday.

The due date will noted inside the book by Issue Desk staff. Short Loan items are not automatically renewed..

Reference Only

All Reference Only items are for only for use in the Library building and are due for return by the end of the day.

Reference Only items include:

  • Some books on the subject floors are for Reference Only. These items might have a green sticker on the edge of the book and a Reference Only stamp inside.
  • Journal issues and volumes are usually Reference Only too.
  • Print copies of postgraduate theses available from the Issue Desk are for reference use in the library only
  • Calculators are also available for library use from the Issue Desk - these cannot be taken out of the library, we do not have enough calculators to support students who need them in assessments.

Inter-Library Loans

Inter-Library Loan items have a due date that cannot be automatically extended. You should contact Inter-Library loans staff for advice if you want to keep the book for longer.

Returning Items

While measures are in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) you will not be required to return any loan to the Library. If you are able to return books at a future date it will be fine to hold onto them for the duration of the lockdown.

However if you have any queries about returning loans before leaving Bath and/or your course of study please please contact the Library Issue Desk at

If you can't return your books in person you can post them back to the library. You are responsible for books until we receive them. You should get postal insurance or use a tracking service in case of loss or damage.

You should return items to the Library address shown on this page.

How can I request a book that is on loan?

**Requesting books is not possible during the current lockdown situation."

The catalogue will show if a copy of the book you want is available or on loan. You can place a reservation online when all copies of a book are on loan. You can find a short video guide at the end of this page demonstrating how to reserve a book online.

  • Use the library catalogue to search for the book.
  • If the catalogue search result shows there no copies currently available for loan, you will be able to reserve a copy of the book.
  • You will need to sign in to reserve a copy of a book using your Bath username and password
  • Log in with your University user name and password or library card number and PIN.
  • Click on Reserve from the Requests Options shown.
  • Add a "Not Needed After" date if you wish
  • Then click on REQUEST to confirm the reservation
  • If the reservation is successful, the screen will display Request placed and indicate your place in the queue.

Once the book becomes available the item will be kept for you at the Issue Desk on Level 2 for 7 days during semester-time.

You cannot reserve a book if there is an item showing as available on the shelf. If a book shows as Available on the catalogue but you cannot find it on the shelf, please speak to staff on the subject floor or come to the Issue Desk for advice.

Checking your reservations

You can check what items you have reserved and if they are ready for collection or not on your borrower record.

You can find a link to access your account as follows: - select the Loans, PIN, Library cards link from the Library homepage - choose the first option on the page to Check your Library borrower account online - follow the link to Your Library Account then login to check your account.

Email updates about your Library loans

Automated advisory mails have been amended to take account of the lockdown situation currently in force across the UK

The Library will send messages about your loans to your University email address or the email account you provided at registration.

The Library will send you a message if you need to bring your loans back. This is usually because another borrower has reserved the item.

The Library will email you when your reserved items are ready for collection from the Issue Desk.

Borrowers will receive a monthly account update by email.  The message will list all the items on loan to you, your reservations and any fines you have.

If you use forwarding to another email account please check that library messages aren't treated as junk mail. You should also check that your mail account has space to receive emails.

Please contact the Issue Desk team with any queries about your loans or borrower account.

Check your borrower account online

Visit your borrower account online to check what items you have on loan, the status of your reservations and any fines on your account.

You can use the Check your account online link then login to review your account.

University staff and students will need to login using your Digital, Data & Technology (DD&T) username and password.

Alumni and other paying members of the Library will need to use their Library User Identification number and PIN to access their borrowing record online.

Contact Issue Desk staff for any problems accessing your record or queries about your borrower account.

How to reserve a Library book online