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University of Bath

Visitor access to the University Library

Advice for Alumni, SCONUL Access users, Schools, Colleges and members of the public about how and when you may enter the Library.

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. Contact the Library team by email if you cannot visit during these hours.

  • 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

Visitor access to online information resources

With the growth of the open access movement, a large volume of research is available for free online. Often Creative Commons licences provide possibilities for reusing this information.

The Library has compiled a guide to recommended resources on the internet, many of these are free to use.

Access to online resources is available using the catalogue computers located across the Library.

  • You do not need to log on.
  • Under the terms of the publishers' licences, visitors can only view online resources while physically in the Library.
  • It is not possible to print or save material you find while searching but you can of course make notes from the screen.

For your reference a list of the e-resource websites which can be accessed can be found here.

Blocked resources not available to visitors or alumni are given here

Please ask for advice from library staff if you cannot find the resources you are looking for.