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Search for, reserve, renew and return library items

You can search the library catalogue, select the item you want, reserve and renew it online. Collecting and returning items are the only parts of the process that you need to do in person, and you can choose to do these at any branch in the LibrariesWest network which is most convenient to you. Please select the library service below, for detailed information and instructions.

Search the library catalogue 

It is free to search the library catalogue and make reservations of items from any LibrariesWest branch

The easiest and quickest way to search the library catalogue is to do it online. This will give you instant access to over two and a half million items. You can search using a desktop, laptop or via our library mobile app.

This search service will take you to your results on the LibrariesWest website.

You can search using any of these features:

  • type of item (such as book, audio book, music CD, DVD, map, printed music, language course)
  • author
  • title
  • author + title
  • subject
  • ISBN number

To get precisely the item you want, you can also filter search results by the following criteria: 

  • current availability
  • genre, media and format
  • publication date
  • language
  • geographic location (including sourcing items from outside the Libraries West area - please see Library charges for more details)

The online search facility will tell you if other people have already reserved an item, so you can see how long it is likely to be before you can borrow it.

Reserve an item


Once you find the item you want, the online search facility allows you to make an immediate reservation, using your library membership number and PIN. If you have chosen an item from outside the LibrariesWest area and there is a charge to pay, this is clearly displayed before you proceed.

Reserve a library item 

Alternatively, you can view further details about the title, view the number and location of available copies, or locate the same item to purchas via Hive (which supports independent book retailers). 

At your local library

If you prefer to go to your library in person, a member of staff can help you through the catalogue search and reservation process on a library computer. They will be able to tell you what is available, and give you an idea of how long it will be before you can collect it, if we have to order it from another library.

Collecting your item

When you reserve an item, you must choose the library branch where you would like to collect it. If no-one else has also reserved your item, it should take 14 days or less to be ready for collection. If we have to request the item from another library in the UK (outside LibrariesWest) it will take an average of a month to arrive.

We will let you know as soon as the item arrives. We can email you, send a text message or a second class letter. Just let us know your preferred contact method when you make your reservation. We normally keep the item for up to nine days from the day we notify you. Please contact us if you need extra time to organise collection, for example because of limited mobility, or arranging for a carer or friend to pick up the item, and we can extend this period to a maximum of 14 days. 

Renew your item


You can renew your loans online by signing into your library account via your home computer, or the LibrariesWest app on your phone. You will need your library card number and PIN. 

Renew a library loan 

At your local library

If you prefer to go to your library in person, you can renew items using a self-service machine (at our core libraries: Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton) or a member of staff can help you through the renewal process.

Renewal periods and charges

Normally, a renewal is for the same period as the original loan (three weeks, for typical library books). If someone else has requested or reserved your item, you will only be able to renew it for a further three days before returning it to the library. If no-one else needs the item, you can renew it a maximum of ten times, before returning it to the library. If you still wish to keep the item at this stage, we can re-issue it to you. 

Renewals will be dated from the day you renew your item, not added to the original loan period. For example, if you originally loan a DVD for a week, from Saturday to Saturday, but choose on Thursday to renew it for a further week, your new loan period will be seven days from Thursday (not seven days from the original due date).

If you renew an item with a loan charge (such as a DVD or music CD), then a second charge will be payable for each renewal period. You will be able to pay this when you return the item to the library.

Return your item

Please return items on time if you can. Somebody else may be waiting to use them. If you know that you won't be able to bring it back on time, you can renew your item quickly and easily online via computer or smartphone app (see above).

You don't have to return your item to the branch where you borrowed it; our cross-county partnership means you return items to any LibrariesWest branch. As each item has its own unique stock code, you don't need your library card to return your item. A member of staff will be happy to process your return or, in our larger libraries, you can use a self-service machine to return your item.

Library reminders

We now offer a free email reminder service, which will tell you two days before you need to return your item. Just add your email address to your account details to sign up for this service, either online or by visiting your local library

WarningThe reminder service is an optional extra for those who register an email address with us. We cannot guarantee message delivery. It remains your responsibility to return or renew your items on time, and to pay for any additional charges you incur.