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Join the library network

Why join the library?

Joining the library gives you free access to a wealth of benefits and services.

See membership benefits

All Bath and North East Somerset library members also automatically enrol into the LibrariesWest network: a partnership of seven public library services which work together to share costs and offer enhanced customer services. The 'coast to coast' service means you can use your library membership card in any one of 145 public libraries across the LibrariesWest network to borrow, reserve, renew and return items, and to use library computers.

The partnership gives you access to the entire LibrariesWest joint catalogue of around two and a half million items, including books, DVDs, spoken word resources, music CDs, printed music, maps and foreign language materials. You can borrow from and return items to any library in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Dorset and Poole. 

Your library membership can also be used to explore a range of free digital resources, including eBooks, eAudio books and eMagazines as well as a wide variety of online reference material.

Concessionary membership

Charges apply to a small number of library services (such as the loan of talking books or multimedia language course materials). As well as all of the benefits of a standard membership, concessionary library members get a special reduced rate for these chargeable items. Concessionary membership is available to many people who are living on a lower income. 

See concessionary membership benefits

Concessionary library members are eligible for reduced costs on the small number of chargeable library services:

  • Spoken word and short language courses: £1.30 per item for a three-week loan (normal charge £1.80)
  • Long language courses (three or more CDs / tapes): £2 per item for a three-week loan (normal charge £3)
  • Book reservations outside LibrariesWest: £5 per item (normal charge £8)
  • Journal articles requested: £5 per item, plus any copyright fee (normal charge £8)
Find out if you qualify

To qualify for concessionary membership, you need to be one of the following:

  • a child under 16
  • registered disabled
  • a Blue Badge holder
  • a full-time student
  • claiming a qualifying benefit (Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Jobseekers' Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Pension Tax Credit, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance)

You will have to provide proof of your eligibility for concessionary membership when you join the library:

  • students: a valid student card
  • benefit claimants: an original letter from the agency which administers your benefit

If have no proof available at the time you first join, we will register you as a standard library member, and will then convert your membership when you can supply qualifying proof.

How to join the library

Joining the library is quick, easy and free. Permanent membership is available to anyone who is resident in the Bath and North East Somerset area. Visitors can even join temporarily, so they can enjoy library services while they are in our area.

Online

The quickest and easiest way to join the library is to do it online. You will need to provide your contact details, date of birth and to have a memorable four-digit PIN number ready. During the application process, you will also need to nominate your local library from a list provided.

Apply to join the library 

You will receive a temporary library membership number, on-screen when you apply and via email for later reference. You should keep this safely, as you will need it to use library services. You can start searching the library catalogue and making reservations straight away, but you will need to go to your local library in person within four weeks, to collect your permanent library membership card. There, you must provide some identification to prove your identity and address (and if applicable, eligibility for concessionary membership). You can choose which documents to bring from the list below.

In person

If you prefer to have a good look around your local library when you join, then you can come in person and complete the joining process with a member of library staff. You will need to bring some identification to prove your identity and address (and if applicable, eligibility for concessionary membership). You can choose which documents to bring from the list below.

Documents you will need to complete your application

To join the library, you need to prove both your identity and your address. Bring one of these to show to library staff at your local branch, when you get your library membership card:

  • bank statement or letter
  • utility bill (gas, electricity, water, telephone / broadband, TV licence, Council Tax)
  • NHS prescription, prescription book or medical card
  • council, benefits, government or solicitor's letter
  • bus pass or travelcard
  • passport, national ID card or driver's licence
  • electoral registration documents
  • student ID card or South Gloucestershire leisure card
  • payslip
  • tenancy agreement

Use library services on your phone

Download our app

You can download the LibrariesWest app for free, to use all of your library services from your mobile phone.

  • Search the catalogue
  • Make reservations
  • Renew your loans
  • Find your nearest library and check if it is open 
  • Manage your library account
  • Link multiple accounts to your account, to manage family members' loans
  • View your loans history
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

The app is currently available for Apple and Android devices. To download, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play. Although not currently available through the Kindle Store, if you are able to download the Google Play app on a Kindle Fire, you should be able to download the LibrariesWest app from there.