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UHI Outer Hebrides Library

Guide to using our Library services and resources

Welcome to UHI Outer Hebrides Library

We would like to extend a huge welcome to all our new and returning students.  The Library Team are here to help you and we wish you every success with your studies this coming year.

For an overview of our Library services please watch this video (7:00)

Further information about Lews Castle College Library, including our Library Charter, can be found on the UHI Outer Hebrides Library webpages.

Study facilities

The Library (Stornoway) is open for study purposes and for browsing and borrowing books.  There is also a Click & Collect and Postal Service in operation.  

The Library at the Stornoway campus is open 9 am to 5 pm (Mon-Fri) during term time. It is a quiet environment in which to work and provides individual and group study areas with several pcs for student use. We do ask that you keep noise levels down and respect other students who are using the Library. There is also a silent study room that you can access from the Library. You are welcome to bring your own laptop. Wifi is available throughout the college, it is recommended you use Eduroam. Study facilities are also available at our Barra learning resource centre. 

Please note: Whilst in the Library you must wear a face covering at all times (unless exempt) and observe 1 metre social distancing. Windows will be open for ventilation purposes.

Borrowing, renewing and reserving books

Browse & Borrow

You may borrow up to 15 books at any one time. The loan periods vary depending on how much a book is in demand. As well as print books the Library service also provides access to a vast collection of eBooks which can be read online or downloaded. As well as browsing our shelves you can use Multisearch to look for books held at Lews Castle College plus all the UHI partner library collections. It also provides links to our eBooks. Books for loan held by other UHI partner libraries may be borrowed through the inter-site loan scheme (see below). To login into Multisearch and most of our other Library resources your username is your ID number (do not add and your password is your usual college/UHI password. There is a useful video guide to Multisearch here (04:51).

Click & Collect - this service is in addition to browsing & borrowing books. 

Please check Multisearch for book availability and complete this online request formFor each book we need to know the title; first author surname or editor name; publication year or edition. Please click on the check box indicating the book is available at Lews Castle College Library.

You will be notified by email when your books are ready for collection. The book collection point is located at the Stornoway Campus by reception, along with our book Return Box. If you are a distance student or not able to collect books in person due to issues relating to the pandemic (eg you are self isolating) you can use our postal service.

Inter-Site Loans (books located at other UHI Libraries) 

If you need to borrow a book(s) held at another UHI partner library please complete this online request form. This is the same form as click and collect, however, please click on the check box 'The book is in stock at other UHI Partner Libraries' (there is no need to specify further). We will then arrange this for you. This is a service offered by all UHI academic partner libraries.

Note: If an eBook is available partner libraries may not supply a print copy unless there are special circumstances.

Postal Loans - this service is for distance learners or for Covid related issues eg you are self isolating.

To make use of this service please check Multisearch for book availability and complete this online request formFor each book we need to know the title; first author surname or editor name; publication year or edition. Books will be posted to you with a Freepost return label. The books are posted to the address you provide us with as second class Royal Mail. If you received books by post because you were isolating you can return them in person if you are later on campus when the books are due for return or if you no longer require them. The Book Return Box is located at reception (Stornoway Campus).


Having problems completing the forms?

Email using your college / UHI email so we can identify you.

Renewing books

Books can be renewed online by logging into Multisearch. You can also quickly renew your book via MyDay (look for the Library Account tile). If your books have become overdue please email and we will renew them for you (as long as they have not been reserved by someone else). If the books have been borrowed as inter-site loans they can normally be renewed twice.

There is a useful video guide here (01:35).

Reserving books

Students or staff may reserve a book that is already out on loan (as long as it is a book from our Library) by sending an email to and quoting the details of the book. Please note reserved books will only be held for a limited number of days before going back into circulation. You will be sent an email when books are available for collection or that they are being posted to you.

Returning books

Returning your books

You will receive an automatic email when books are due to be returned. If you no longer require a book please return it as soon as possible to make it available for other people to borrow. If you need the book longer you can usually renew it (if it is not reserved).

Books can be returned in person to the Library or by post. 

Postal returns

Distance learners will be sent a return Freepost address label with all books borrowed from UHI Outer Hebrides Library.

If you are not a 'distance learner' but for very good reason you are unable to return books in person to the Library you can post books back to us using our Freepost address. We will include a label with books posted to you but if you haven't got a label we can email the Freepost address to you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Postal service

Can I request a print copy of a book if an eBook is available?

If an eBook is available we will not usually post you a print copy unless there are special circumstances. We will however consider this on a case by case basis.