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Virtual Open Day - Library information: FAQ

Information about the Library for prospective students and families


You can find below a list of the most commonly asked questions about the Library. If you have a question not answered below, please email us:

The Library remains open to current students and staff, with access to study spaces, PCs and book borrowing. Our extensive electronic resources, services and support from specialist staff are all available remotely. For more information see:​​

  • We were the UK’s first 24/7 Academic Library. We are open 24/7/365, except for exceptional circumstances. The University’s Reception and Security desk is based in our main entrance and enables us to stay open continually.
  • Most Library services are self-service, 24/7, e.g. self-issue/return for books, printing, copying and scanning.
  • Our staff can be contacted via our Ask a Librarian
  • Our expert staff provide skills training lectures, workshops and tutorials, both in person and online. This ranges from induction events through to more complex training on literature searching, research skills, referencing, plagiarism and software. Our staff can be consulted on topics such as critical evaluation of sources, copyright, intellectual property and more.
  • Each department/school has a dedicated Subject Librarian who is supported by Information Librarians working in the Information Points. Each subject team is based on the relevant subject floor of the Library (Level 3: Engineering and Design with literature; Level 4 Science, Medicine and Sport; Level 5 Social Sciences, Management and Languages).
  • These librarians are here to support you from arrival and your induction, through ongoing enquiry support and training, resource access and information skills training. You can make an appointment, pop in and ask questions, email or telephone with an enquiry.
  • Can’t find a book on the shelf? Struggling to cite and reference a webpage? Not sure where to start researching your dissertation? Ask a Librarian! See the Resources for your subject web pages
  • We have a huge volume of books: more than 527,500 e-books, plus 332,000 print books. In many cases we will have both electronic and multiple print copies for core textbooks, depending on the options available from publishers and our suppliers. We are very proactive regarding textbook provision and have a large materials budget to support this. We monitor the most borrowed materials and can order additional stock as needed.
  • We also subscribe to more than 27,000 e-journals and 219 print journals. We provide access and support for over 100 subscription and 100 free research databases, designed to quickly help identify and access academic articles, company reports, patents and other documents.
  • Our extensive digital library collections are available off-campus, 24/7 - free to access when you are at home or on placement.
  • If any books, chapters, journals or articles are not immediately available, we have a free Inter-Library Loans service which students can use to make requests. Students can also use our free Bath Copies service to request scans of chapters and articles from our print collections.
  • You can borrow up to 30 books at any one time, including a maximum of four short loan items. With auto-renewals our 7 day loan books can be borrowed without interruption for up to a year, unless reserved by another user.
  • In general, the departments and school expect you to arrive and start at the same point, without the requirement of a lot of reading pre-arrival. You will be contacted directly if there are exceptions.
  • We provide a wide range of readings that you can use free of charge, but you may decide to invest in some personal copies of key texts. It is best to do this once you know which titles you are going to use most intensively. Once you are registered you will be given access to Moodle, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), where you will find information on your units. Many of these include reading lists (Library Lists) which provide live information on our print book availability and direct links to e-books.
  • Some departments facilitate student second-hand book sales. You can sometimes save money buying textbooks from students in the year above.
  • We have compiled a list of open access online academic resources that may inspire you!
  • There are no fines! We abolished fines for overdue books and DVDs back in 2016.
  • Books are loaned for 7 days at a time. Every 7 days the library will automatically renew/extend your loans for another 7 days for up to a year. Books will be renewed like this so long as no-one else has requested the book.
  • Check out our 'Reading for Pleasure' Library guide! This provides themed, curated lists of our print and e-books from different genres for you to enjoy. These include novels, biographies, non-fiction, and books to help you with your study skills and personal development, compiled with recommendations from students, staff, the SU and Student Services.
  • Whilst our collections are primarily to support teaching and research, further fiction and reading for leisure titles can be found via our Library Catalogue. We also recommend joining Bath’s public library service or your local public library, for more current fiction material, which is of course free.
  • In normal circumstances, we have a wellbeing book display on Level 2, which includes fiction/non-fiction/poetry/plays, plus a regular pop-up display featuring popular works on different themes, e.g. Managing stress for exams, Black History Month, British Science Week, etc.
  • We also have international fiction in English and original languages. Our collections are mostly to support teaching and research, but we have materials in adjacent areas to support these e.g. art, photography, music and the Language Learning Zone’s materials.
  • We also stock newspapers from around the world and international films and TV on DVD.
  • Yes, the University’s Security desk, based in the Library foyer, is 24/7
  • You may also be interested in Nightline, a student-run, confidential, and non-judgmental peer-to-peer support listening service for students here at the University of Bath
  • The Library contains 1470+ seats, across 5 floors. These are a mix of fixed and flexible, group and individual study spaces. There are 500+ PCs, the building is wireless enabled throughout with power sockets and laptop docking (24/7) on all fixed desks. All the floors are designated quiet study, apart from Level 2. Students can of course use bookable group study rooms, for example, to have discussions or practice presentations.
  • There are of course peak times in Semester e.g. lunch time during revision weeks can be very busy, but additional spaces are made available across campus during revision and assessment periods. Year round hundreds more study spaces are provided, on and off campus, some of which are bookable. This is before department and school specific study spaces, PC labs, studios and workshops are considered.
  • There are plenty of study spaces available on campus in addition to the Library. The video below highlights the different study spaces available to our students: 
  • Increasingly assignments are submitted online via the Moodle VLE. Some departments require more than others e.g. displays/model making by Architecture students. Print/copy pricing is competitive and it is important to note that scanning is free!
  • In addition, our document delivery services are free when used for your studies: Bath Copies request service and Inter-Library Loans!
  • It can be thirsty work taking a tour of campus during Summer, or maybe you would like to know where you can refill your water bottle in between lectures!
  • There are water fountains inside the central toilet/lifts block in the middle of the Library on Levels 4 and 5 and just outside the toilets on Levels 2 and 3.
  • The Students Union have mapped the various water fountain locations across campus.
  • Gender neutral toilets: Level 2 and Level 3
  • Male and Female / Male and Female disabled toilets: Level 4 and Level 5
  • Female toilets also available on the East side of Level 3
  • Alternatively, the nearest Unisex toilet is opposite the Library; across the Parade between the Parade Bar and Claverton Rooms