Back on the shelf again

More than 20,000 books and reference materials – held in storage at Bath Central Library since 2017 – will now be accessible to the public once more thanks to a new £40k shelving system.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has invested in a new ‘rolling stack’ to store books that need extra care, or are less frequently borrowed but still important for people to have access to.

The library’s previous shelving had to be dismantled in 2017 due to its age and the books and materials were moved into storage at Haydon, with most items not able to be borrowed.

Now the new rolling stack installed this month is already housing fiction for all ages from the library’s classic collection and the remaining books are in the process of being moved back out of storage.

Residents will be able to find and reserve any of the books through the Libraries West catalogue, or anyone visiting Bath Central Library can ask a member of staff to fetch an item for them. 

The stack took a week to install. It has 1,188 metres of shelving and can hold around 27,000 books. 

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, and Communities, officially opened the new facility yesterday. She said: “I’m delighted that this new shelving will mean residents can easily view and enjoy all our older books and reference materials, which have had to be out of circulation for several years.

It’s a huge task to move the 20,000 items back out of storage but they will all be accessible for residents as soon as possible. The rolling stack is the first step in the council’s refurbishment of Bath Central Library and is a significant investment in our library provision.”

Find out more about the council’s library and information services