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Library facts and figures: Home

Library facts and figures

Library Facts and Figures

In line with the key principles of our Library Mission statement and in support of the University of Bath’s wider objectives, we are constantly working to develop and enhance our services, facilities, resources and engagement with all Library users. The following facts and figures showcase recent highlights from our work.

All figures correct as of publication date, March 2022.

Key facts and figures

Decorative image of the stats mentioned in the text below.

  • The Library is open 24/7, all year round
  • Post-lockdown entrances to the Library are steadily increasing with nearly 180,000 in 2020/21 and over 200,000 in Semester 1 of 2021/22.
  • The Library provides a huge range of digital and print resources:
    • More than 532,000 e-books and 27,000 e-journals.
    • More than 100 subscribed electronic databases for research.
    • More than 100 additional free databases and resources curated by Subject Librarians.
    • More than 332,000 print books.
    • Over 200 print journal titles.
  • There are 11 printing, copying and scanning devices in the Library.
  • Staff and students can borrow up to 30 books at any one time. We automatically renew unreserved standard loan items once every week.
  • There is over 1 km of unique and distinctive material held in our Archives and Research Collections.
  • 5,630 e-theses are available via the University of Bath's research portal
  • The Library provides a range of flexible learning spaces. Their number and variety are increasing post-lockdown:
    • The Library has over 1,400 study spaces.
    • Over 500 PCs.
    • All study spaces have access to power and there is wireless access throughout the building.
    • We have an online booking system for study spaces both in the Library and across the University.
  • We have encouraged and facilitated the increased availability of study spaces across the University.
  • During the pandemic we introduced flexible teaching spaces in the Library to support demand.

Impact and Engagement 2020/21

Picture representing recent library outreach activities such as the Black History Month bookmark, the library lit up as a rainbow in support of the LGBT+ community, a cup representing a good score in the NSS survey and a display of books for the architecture library drop in.

  • We were given the one of the highest scores in the UK for the National Student Survey with 86% for Q.19 in 2021: 'The library resources (books, online services and learning spaces for example) have supported my learning well’. This places us amongst the top in the country for Q19 for institutions included in the Guardian Good University guide! Thank you to our students for their feedback.
  • Our 2021 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey score showed 90% satisfaction with online Library resources and services and 74% satisfaction with physical Library resources and services and, placing us in the top quartile of participating institutions. 
  • Engagement with the Library’s Instagram account continued to rise, reaching 1,276+ followers at the beginning of 2022.
  • Our Library guide 'Reading for pleasure' continues to grow with collaboration across the University. The guide includes 10 reading lists, book clubs, alongside additional resources to support wellbeing and inclusivity. Lists include LGBT+ (in collaboration our student LGBT+ group), Black History and Culture (with the SU and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) and Wellbeing (with Student Services), as well as international and popular fiction. 
  • We subscribe to PressReader which gives all University members access to more than 7,000 of the world's top newspapers and magazines in 60 different languages.

Picture of a group of cartoon people reading books together to advertise the reading for pleasure library guide

Online Resources 2020/21

Picture representing the number of e book section downloads and e article downloads

  • The Library homepage was viewed 643,202 times in 2020/21.
  • In line with our Digital First approach we continue to negotiate deals to increase the number and range of electronic resources available. In 2020/21 our users downloaded nearly 2 million e-book sections and over 3.4 million journal articles.
  • We obtained 3,295 interlibrary loan requests for our users.
  • The Library Scanning Service for Academics aims to increase the accessibility of our print collection and it has seen a huge surge in demand since the start of the pandemic. The Library supplied 458 scanned book chapters and journal articles at the start of the 2021/2022 academic year, which is a 258% increase on the previous year.

Library Support 2020/21

picture representing 19589 topdesk queries resolved 2020 to 2021

  • Online enquiries continue to increase and in 2020/21 we resolved over 19,500 TOPdesk Library enquiries.
  • The Library's new LibChat service allows users to interact with library staff live online during standard working hours and has fielded nearly 300 enquiries since it was introduced.
  • The Library distributed around 2,000 Library cards by internal and national postal services.
  • The Reader Services team resolved 2,235 queries relating to new Library cards.
  • We responded to 2,104 e-resource enquiries from library users.

Training 2020/21

Advertising image for training events for researchers showing a woman in a wheelchair carrying out research. Also a picture of the research data management adventure game poster.

  • We developed a wide range of online training sessions for students and staff via Teams and Zoom, e-learning courses in Moodle, and online guidance on our webpages. We now offer over 50 device agnostic online Library guides
  • Our Research Data team developed three new online training courses in research data management, as well as co-designing an interactive ‘select your own story’ resource with the University of Stellenbosch, which was nominated for a National Science and Technology Forum award in the Data for Research category.
  • Our Academic Services team delivered over 23 hours of Library training per fte librarian in 2020/21.

Research Services 2020/21

Image of archives cabinet of curiosities, poster from the Judo collection, campus walking tour and images representing data management, open access and research analytics


  • In 2020/21 our Open Access team checked the metadata and open access compliance status of 1,847 outputs selected for REF in 14 Units of Assessment. The 2021 Leiden Rankings ranked University of Bath 67th on the proportion of papers Open Access (OA), with 76.4% of publications OA. We are now in the Top 50 in the world for Green Open Access with 36.8% of all publications published via a green route. The Open Access mailbox fielded 2,677 enquiries, an increase of 44% on the last academic year. 
  • In 2020/21 guidance produced by our Research Data Service on finding, working with and publishing research data was viewed over 43,000 times, and the self-paced online training modules were used 2,790 times. There was a 50% increase in ethics related queries and a 75% increase in queries received from undergraduate students doing qualitative research in final year projects. There was a 9.8% increase in the publication of datasets in the Research Data Archive. 
  • In 2020/21 Our Research Analytics Service provided interactive, live online training workshops to 200 students and researchers. 
  • Archives and Research CollectionsFind out what's been happening over the last 12 months


Picture of the Remembering Tree being painted by artist Zoe Power on level 1 of the Library

Library reports

Read our regular 'While you were away' reports, which update our users on the latest Library developments: