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Loan periods and charges for library items

Library loan times vary, depending on the item, and whether it is in demand by other library users. While most items are free to borrow, we have to charge for some services, such as borrowing audio and video materials, or searching for an item from a library outside the LibrariesWest area. Please select the relevant item below to check how long you will be able to loan it from the library, and if a charge will be payable.

Book and Fines Amnesty starting 6 January 2020

B&NES Libraries stopped charging fines for the late return of library books borrowed from April 2019.

We are now inviting anyone who has very long overdue books which were subject to overdue charges to return them to us and we will waive the outstanding fines.

If you have old items (borrowed pre-April 2019 when fines were still being applied) on your account which maybe lost and are preventing you using our services, come and speak to a member of staff and we can remove those items and any associated fines and charges from your account.

If you have previously been barred as a result of your overdue fines, your account can be re-instated.

Anyone who wants to take advantage of this should visit one of our core libraries (Bath Central, Keynsham, Midsomer Norton or the Mobile Library) where staff will be pleased to assist.

If you are unable to reach one of our core libraries, we have made arrangements with community run libraries to accept your very overdue items and to assist you, but the process may take up to two weeks to complete as information will need to be forwarded to a core library to waive the fines and charges. Please note:

  • We cannot waive fines on items borrowed in other LibrariesWest libraries, outside of B&NES, however, we can return those items on your behalf.
  • We can only remove lost books from your account that belong to B&NES libraries, not items owned by other LibrariesWest services.
  • We cannot remove charges or books that were borrowed through the national Interlibrary Loans system e.g. from the British Library.
  • This only applies to items borrowed before April 2019. However, if you have any problems with more recent issues, please come and talk to us.

For more information email or call in at your local library

Books and maps

It is free for our library members to reserve books and maps from the LibrariesWest catalogue.

You can keep books and maps for up to three weeks* (or four weeks, if you borrow from the Mobile Library).

There is a £10 charge for reserving books from locations outside the LibrariesWest area. This covers the administrative cost of the search, and will apply once you have made the reservation request, whether or not it is possible to fulfil your request. An additional copyright fee may be payable for journal articles. If you want to borrow an item from a library in another country, we can provide a search fee when you apply for this service.

*From Friday 26 June 2020 the loan period for e-books will be temporarily reduced to two weeks. This is temporary to help increase the turnover and availability of titles, and reduce waiting times for the most popular titles. Any e-Books you have checked out before the 26 June 2020 will still be loaned to you for three weeks.

Audio visual items

It is free for our library members to reserve audio visual items from the LibrariesWest catalogue.This includes DVDs.

Typically, you can borrow audio visual items for one week only, although the loan period for large DVD boxed sets (such as a TV series) and for music CDs is three weeks. We classify items as 'premium' if they are in high demand (for example, recent, popular films) or 'standard', with a slightly higher charge for premium content.

  • Premium items cost £3 per item for a one-week loan
  • Standard items cost £2 per item for a one-week loan
  • Boxed sets cost £5 for a three-week loan
  • Music CDs cost £1 for a three-week loan

If you fail to return your item on time, there will be a full weekly charge payable for every extra week (or part of a week) that you keep it. 

Talking books and language courses

It is free for our library members to reserve these audio items from the LibrariesWest catalogue. 

The loan period is three weeks, and charges are as follows:

  • Talking books and cost £2 for adults, £1.50 for concessionary members, and are free for children under 18 or users with hearing or visual impairments or dyslexia
  • Language courses cost £3 for adults, £2 for concessionary members, users with hearing or visual impairments or dyslexia, and are free for children under 18

Special loan arrangements for reading groups

To take advantage of our special loan periods, you must register your reading group with the Library Service. Please email us at to find out more. 

It is FREE for registered reading groups to reserve up to ten copies of an item (subject to availability across the LibrariesWest region), for a loan period of six weeks.

Reduced charge for concessionary members

Please view the join the library network page, to see if you qualify for concessionary library membership. Concessionary members are eligible for reduced costs on the small number of chargeable library services:

  • Spoken word and short language courses cost £1.50 per item for a three-week loan (normal charge £2)
  • Long language courses cost £2 per item for a three-week loan (normal charge £3)
  • Journal articles requested cost £5 per item, plus any copyright fee (normal charge £10)

Energy monitor loans 

If you are a BANES resident, you can now borrow an electricity monitor, to help you save energy and money. You can collect your monitor directly from Bath Central Library, or reserve it at any local library in Bath & North East Somerset, and we will send you a confirmation when it s ready for you to collect. The loan period is three weeks and the service is free of charge.

The monitors are easy to install. They clip around electricity cables at your fuse box, and have a separate display unit which you can put in a prominent place, such as your living room or kitchen. The monitors offer a real-time readout of energy use, and are great for raising awareness and identifying ways to save money on your electricity bill.

Join the B&NES Environmental Sustainability Network to stay up to date with local green news and events, and follow @greenbathnes on Twitter. View the Energy at home advice service website or email for free, expert home energy advice.

If you lose or damage a library item

When you borrow a library item, you are responsible for the condition and safety of that item until you return it to the library service. Please inform us as soon as possible if it will be impossible for you to return an item you have borrowed.

We will have to charge you for any item that is lost, stolen or comes back in an unsatisfactory condition.

This normally includes replacement costs and an additional administration fee of £2.50, which covers the costs of adding protective covers to replacement items, cataloguing them and getting them back onto library shelves for other people to use. 

There are two options for replacing the item:

You can buy a replacement yourself. Please view our guidelines to ensure your replacement is acceptable.
  • The replacement item must be a like-for-like item
  • It must be a brand new copy and not second hand
  • Ex-library stock from second hand sellers is not acceptable. This material has gone out of library use because it is an expired edition, or is no longer in good condition
  • DVD and videos must have a label stating 'for rental use only'. It is illegal for us to loan out copyrighted material which does not have this licence

The £2.50 administration fee for getting the item back in library use will still be chargeable.

We can buy a replacement item. Please see our standard price lists for replacement items here. 

Our standard price list for items is as follows:

  • Adult non-fiction costs £9
  • Adult fiction costs £9
  • Adult reference costs £30
  • Children’s reference costs £15
  • Children’s picture or story book costs £5
  • Music CD costs £8.50
  • DVD costs £12
  • DVD boxed set costs £24
  • Children’s spoken word costs £8
  • Adult spoken word costs £30 (boxed set) or £5 per CD
  • Language course costs £36
  • Local studies books will be quoted on an individual basis
  • Security cases cost £5
  • Storysack items costs £5 per item

The additional £2.50 administration fee for getting the item back in library use will also be chargeable.

If you find the item after paying for it

If you relocate a lost item, you can choose to keep it yourself, or return it to the library, with the receipt we provided when you paid for its replacement. We will then refund the replacement cost (but not the £2.50 administration charge which it has cost the library to deal with replacing the item).

If you lose your membership card

We will be happy to replace your library membership card. The cost of a new card is £2.