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University of Bath

Getting a library card

How to join the Library and advice about getting a replacement University of Bath library card.

COVID-19 Precautions

Please note:

To minimise travel around campus and queuing in the library, we are able to send new and replacement library cards by post to new and returning students and staff. Please contact Library staff for advice via library@bath.ac.uk if you would like to have your card sent to you.

You will be charged £5 to replace a lost library card. Lost cards are invalidated when a replacement is printed.

Library cards are not required for access to online library resources or for anyone not currently based on the campus in Bath. The Printing and Copying facilities available in departmental spaces and Level 2 of the library can be operated without a library card, use the touchscreen options to login.

Library card uses

You can use your library card to:

  • enter the Library
  • borrow items
  • make reservations
  • do photocopying and printing

Library members should only have one valid library card at any one time. Lost cards are invalidated when a replacement is printed. Invalidated cards that have been replaced may be retained and destroyed by University staff.

Invalidated cards cannot be reactivated or used for campus services such as access, campus food and drink credit or library loans. Please see the advice at the end of this page relating to lost cards for further information.

Types of membership

There are different types of Library membership. These are:

  • student
  • staff
  • visitor
  • alumni

To minimise travel around campus and queuing in the library, we are able to send new and replacement library cards by post to new and returning students and staff. Please contact Library staff for advice via library@bath.ac.uk if you would like to have your card sent to you.

Student library card

Applying for your card online

You can apply for a library card before you arrive as a new student. Upload your photo during the University registration process.

You should complete registration and upload a photograph via the Photo Upload Service so that library staff can print your card before you get here.

You will be advised by email once your card is printed.

To limit student travel around campus and queuing, we aim to send cards by post to new and returning students. Please contact Library staff for advice via library@bath.ac.uk to have your card send to you.

Applying at the Library Issue Desk

We cannot take your picture at the Library Issue Desk. You can help us produce your library card by providing a picture using the Photo Upload Service prior to your arrival.

Updated and replacement cards can be printed for current students at the Library Issue Desk between 9am and 445pm, Monday to Friday (except on University holidays).

Applying as a Distance Learner

If you aren't visiting the University campus, please contact Issue Desk staff for advice about getting your card sent to you.

Borrowing books with your card

You can borrow 30 books at a time using your library card. Link to video guide for Self-Issue

Expiry of membership

Your card is valid until the end of your course of studies - as shown on the SAMIS student database.

Other uses for your library card

You can also use your library card to:

  • get into your student accommodation
  • use your Eat and Drink credit
  • get into different parts of the University
  • use the sports facilities
  • buy discounted bus tickets
  • get your Students' Union and National Union of Students (NUS) membership

The Library card automatically grants students entry to the Library and Virgil building. If you need access to extra facilities, contact your department or accommodation service as required.

Staff library card

Any requests for new staff library cards can be made by email to library@bath.ac.uk.

You will need to provide:

  • an image file showing your face in a "selfie" or passport style format for use on the card.

  • your contract end date if you are in a fixed term post

  • please also send us details of your postal address if you want your card sent to you

We can make cards available for collection during staffed hours if you are working on campus. Please mention this at the point of contacting us and we'll update you when the card is ready for pickup.

Your library card is linked to other University systems so you need to be added to Person Finder before you can have a card.

You can use your library card as a form of identification to get some staff discounts.

Replacement cards for current staff

Updated and replacement cards can be printed for current staff at the Library Issue Desk between 9am and 445pm, Monday to Friday (except on University holidays).

Borrowing books with your card

You can borrow 30 books at a time using your card. Link to video guide for Self-Issue

Expiry of membership

Staff cards are valid for up to five years or until the expiry of your contract. If you are still working at the University when your card expires, you can renew it.

If you need your card to provide access to other facilities, labs and workspaces please refer to colleagues in your department for further advice. The Issue Desk staff have no control over door access permissions across campus.

Visitor library card

It is with regret and by necessity that access to the Library will be restricted to current members of the University only, because of Covid-19/social distancing arrangements.

We will reinstate memberships as soon as we are able and when we do all memberships will be re-set for a year. For those who have paid for their membership and would prefer a refund, pro-rated to the point at which we closed in March, we are happy to do this.

Online Access to resources

We have gathered up a list of free resources you might find useful.

Alumni library card

It is with regret and by necessity that access to the Library will be restricted to current members of the University only, because of Covid-19/social distancing arrangements.

We will reinstate memberships as soon as we are able and when we do all memberships will be re-set for a year. For those who have paid for their membership and would prefer a refund, pro-rated to the point at which we closed in March, we are happy to do this.

Online Access to resources

We have gathered up a list of free resources you might find useful.

Library card access queries

When library cards are printed for new staff and students they are setup to give access to the Library through the Security entrance gates. The card will also grant entry to current staff and students to the Virgil Building. This access should be functional straightaway.

The first time you use a new or replacement library card to access a campus printer machine, you'll be asked to manually enter your University username and password via the control screen.

Additional access to accommodation, sports facilities, laboratories or other departmental workspaces can be added to the Library card. This access is usually set up by staff in those departments for groups of students at the start of each academic year. However, access may need to be manually added by staff in academic and service departments for late arrivals and new staff.

You can contact Access Control staff to request access to specific doors and other services (for example, bike stores) using their online request form.

Please note that Library Issue Desk staff do not have the means or the authority to enable access to departmental/school workspaces, accommodation blocks or Sports facilities through the library card. Access queries will need to be referred to other departments and professional service sections as described above.

Replacement for Lost Library cards have a new card number. The old card is invalidated when a new card number is generated. While most campus and accommodation access will transfer automatically to the new card number there are at least three exceptions where access will need to be updated manually before a replacement card will grant the required access:

  • Students living in Quads Accommodation
  • Students living Eastwood Accommodation
  • Cardholders trying to access the Sports Training Village should ask STV Reception staff to re-encode their card access

Due to the variety of uses associated with the library card it is not possible to reactivate a previously lost and invalidated card that is subsequently found.

Library card faults

Regular use and accidental damage can mean that sometimes library cards no longer work as expected. Occasionally, some cards just fail even after a short period of use.

It is recommended you treat your library card in the same way you would handle and store your bank and credit cards. Please do not punch any holes in any section of a library card to attach it to anything else. If the internal components are not immediately destroyed, the lifespan of cards damaged in this way is usually substantially reduced.

Lanyards and card holders can be purchased from the Student Union shop if you wish to wear your card in this way.

If your library card is cracked, a part of it is broken off or the printed layers are peeling away, please contact the Library Issue Desk via library@bath.ac.uk in order to obtain a replacement card. A free replacement will be provided in exchange for a broken or damaged card.

Issue Desk staff may refer you to professional service colleagues in Accommodation, the STV Reception or Access Control for advice where cards function on Library systems (such as Issue Desk card scanners and Self-Issue machines) but do not provide the expected access to facilities.