Castlebay Library is to remain closed for the immediate future, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said today (Wednesday September 9)

"We regret that we have no date for Castlebay Library to reopen at the present time, but will ensure that Barra and Vatersay communities are kept informed of any progress," an official statement said.

Meanwhile, Liniclate and Stornoway libraries will begin a reduced service from Monday 14th September.  The phased reopening will initially involve reduced opening hours at Liniclate and Stornoway libraries who will offer a special “Connect & Collect” service. 

Each library will have reduced opening hours in operation, and customers can arrange to visit their local library at a specific day and time, to collect a bag of books that the library staff will have prepared for them.

Customers can connect with their local library by phone, email or through completing the online Connect & Collect form available via the library website. They can either place holds on particular items through the library catalogue they would like to get or simply tell staff what kinds of books / audio books / DVDs /  authors they enjoy.  Library staff will then put a collection of 5 items together for them which will be ready to collect at the agreed time.

Customers will also be able to return their outstanding library books at the same time.  When collecting items from libraries, customers are requested to wear face coverings (unless exempt), sanitise their hands and observe physical distancing at all times.

This will be followed by, as soon as feasible and in line with Government regulations, a gradual return to normal library services.

The library service also aim to announce a date for Tarbert Library’s reopening with the same service offer very shortly.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Libraries Manager, Kathleen Milne said, “Even though the e-Library has been available  throughout lockdown, and will continue to be available 24/7; we know from the many phone call received over the last few months, how many customers have missed the library and are desperate to get their hands on some new, physical, books to read and enjoy.

"The library will continue to promote new books through EVENTS and customers are encouraged to follow ‘wilibraries’ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with any developments and to share their reading experiences.  Everyone at Western Isles Libraries is looking forward to seeing their customers again soon – they have been much missed!”