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.
How do I borrow and return items from the Library?
University students and staff can borrow up to 30 items from the subject floors plus 4 items from the Short Loan collection.
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.
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only use your own Library Card - if you are found to be using someone else's card, you may have your Library privileges withdrawn.
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.
Books 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..
Language Learning Zone materials
The items listed below are not automatically renewed. They must be returned to the Library by the end of the 3-day loan period.
- Self Access DVDs kept on Level 2.
The due date will be shown by the Self-Issue machines or Issue Desk staff can advise you.
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 are available from the Issue Desk
- Calculators are also available for library use from the Issue Desk
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.
You can post any loaned item through the slots near the Issue Desk on Level 2 at any time the Library building is open. Otherwise, you can hand them over to staff at the Issue Desk.
There is a book drop bin in the Virgil Building on the lower level near the Café. Any books dropped there will return to the Library by the next working day, Monday to Friday. There are no book collections on weekends or Bank holidays.
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?
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.
- 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.
Email updates about your Library loans
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.
University staff and students will need to login using your Computing Services 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.