Skip to main content
University of Bath

Getting a library card

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

Where and when to get your library card

You can get a new or replacement library card from the Library Issue Desk from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.45pm.

It will only take a few minutes to check your information, take your picture and print your card.

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

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

Visitors can use the Library during any weekend or on any day during University vacations. You will be able to use the library catalogue terminals to find items in our collection. You can find out more about using the Library as a visitor.

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. (Facilities for taking your library card picture are also available in the Library.)

If you are a new student you must complete registration before you can obtain your library card.

Applying at the Library Issue Desk

You can get a library card from the Library Issue Desk but you need to register online first.

You will need your student number or your University username when you request your card.

We are unable to use printed photos for your card, but we can take your photo when you come into the Library.

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.

Advice for Distance Learners

If you don't come to campus very often, please contact Issue Desk staff by mailing library@bath.ac.uk for advice about getting your card posted to you.

Expiry of membership

Your card is valid until the end of your course of studies - as shown on the SAMIS student database. After this, you can apply for alumni membership.

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.

Staff library card

You can get a library card as a member of staff working for the University.

Usually, you get a card as part of the induction process. You will be brought to the Library by someone in your team to have your photo taken for your card.

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

It is helpful if you bring at least one form of identification when you request a new card. This can be:

  • your contract of employment
  • your letter of appointment
  • a letter or memo from your department outlining your role and the period of employment

We can't use printed photos for your card but will take your photo when you come into the Library.

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

Borrowing books with your card

You can borrow 30 books at a time using your card.

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 your contract ends you can become a visitor member of the Library.

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

You can join the University of Bath Library even if you are not a student or member of staff.

Applying for your card

You can get a card from the Issue Desk on level 2 of the Library.

We will ask you to complete a form with contact information when you apply for a card at the Issue Desk.
We can't use printed photos for your card but will take your photo when you come into the Library. We can only issue cards during certain times. Contact us before your visit to make sure your trip is not wasted. Email Library staff for advice if you cannot visit us in person to obtain your library card.

If you cannot visit the Issue Desk during card production times you can email the Library Team at library@bath.ac.uk to request a card and provide the following information:

  • name
  • current email address
  • current postal address
  • phone number

Please also send us a recent passport/selfie style photograph as a digital email attachment.

Annual visitor fee

The annual fee for visitor membership is currently £150 (including VAT). You can pay in cash or by credit or debit card.

We no longer accept cheques for payment.

Borrowing books with your card

You can borrow five books at a time using your card.

Services for visitors

Library catalogue

As a visitor, you can access any of our print resources and a selection of online resources through our Library catalogue. There are catalogue terminals on levels 2 to 5 of the Library.

Online Access to resources

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

Photocopying

You can buy photocopy cards from a self-service machine on level 2. The machine is opposite the Copy and Print area.

Alumni library card

You can continue to use the University Library after graduating by getting alumni membership.

Applying for your card on campus

You can get a card from the Issue Desk on level 2 of the Library.

We will ask you to complete a form with contact information when you apply for a card at the Issue Desk.
We can't use printed photos for your card but will take your photo when you come into the Library.

You will need proof of your graduate status so should provide:

  • a copy of your degree certificate OR
  • your expired student library card

We can only issue cards during certain times. Contact us before your visit to make sure your trip is not wasted.

Applying for your card away from campus

If you cannot visit the Issue Desk during card production times please email the Library Team at library@bath.ac.uk to request a card and provide the following information:

  • full name
  • current email address
  • current postal address
  • phone number

You will need to provide a copy of your degree certificate. We will also need a recent photographic image that clearly shows your face for us on the card as an email attachment.

Alumni membership fees

Membership is free for the first 12 months after your graduation date.

After 12 months you will be charged an annual fee. The fee is currently £50 (including VAT).

Borrowing books with your card

You can borrow up to five books using your card. Please note that the Library cannot send books to you.

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 entrace 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 your library card to access a campus printer, you'll be asked to manually enter your University username and password via the control screen. Once this is completed, your login will be associated with the Library card number and you will only need to swipe the card for access to the printers. If you lose that card, you will need to associate any replacement card number with your username and password in the same way.

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.

Otherwise, 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 bring it back to the Library Issue Desk during staffed periods between the hours 900am-445pm, Monday to Friday (from 930am on Wednesdays) 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.