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Lews Castle College Library

Welcome to Lews Castle College Library

Here at Lews Castle College 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)

Study facilities

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.

From Friday 22 October 2021 to Monday 1st November (inclusive) the Library will be open 9 am to 5 pm (Mon-Fri) but will be unstaffed between 3-5 pm.  During this unstaffed period please return books to the (Blue) Book Return box. If you would like to borrow a book please complete an Honesty Slip (form) with the required details.  Please complete a Slip for each book you borrow.  These can be found at the Library Enquiry Desk. Library staff will then add the books to your Library account the next working day.  The Security Gate Alarm will sound but you can still borrow the book(s).

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 (limited service)

We look forward to welcoming you into the Library at our Stornoway Campus to use our Browse & Borrow service, however we also operate a limited Click & Collect service, particularly useful for anyone unable to access the Library during the regular Library opening hours but when the College building is open later than the Library. 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 the Library entranceIf 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 - for distance learners 

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. 


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

Lews Castle College 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).

At the Stornoway Campus you can return books in person or pop them into our book return box located near the Library entrance

Postal returns

Distance learners will be sent a return Freepost address label with all books borrowed from Lews Castle College Library.

If you are not a 'distance learner' but for very good reason you are unable to return books in person to the Library (or the book return box) 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

Are you still operating the Click and Collect service for books located at Lews Castle College?

Lews Castle College Library (Stornoway) is open for the browsing and borrowing of books.  However there may still be reasons why some students and staff cannot make use of this service so we have decided to maintain the Click & Collect service but on a more limited basis. Registered distance learners and anyone not able to collect books in person (for good reason) can use our Postal service. 

How many items can I request?

Only 5 books can be borrowed per request form. If you have already borrowed up to your 15 book allowance, you will be required to return an item before you can borrow another one.

How will I know that my book is ready for collection?

We will send an email to your college / UHI email address when your book is ready to collect. You will have 5 working days from the date of your email to collect your request. If it is not collected by this time, the reservation will be cancelled.

If the book is available on the shelf in the Library, you will likely receive this email within 2 working days. Books that are on loan to another user will take longer.  If a book is in high demand we may consider purchasing an additional copy.

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.