Launch of Home Library Service for Barra and Vatersay

Castlebay Library is looking for book-loving volunteers to help launch their new Home Library Service, Caraidean Leughaidh, for Barra and Vatersay.  The timing for the project couldn’t be more perfect, as it follows on from Volunteer Week (1 to 7 June 2021), which highlighted the incredible and valuable work achieved by volunteers across the Outer Hebrides.

Reading and listening to books, and having access to information, DVDs and other resources, are enjoyable, and also essential, for many people.  They can also help to make people feel less isolated and lonely as well, improving their overall health and wellbeing. 

But for those unable to get to their local library, the pleasure of reading is easily lost. We are looking for a few volunteers, who enjoy books, reading and meeting people, to help establish a Holme Library Service for Barra and Vatersay.  These volunteers would work with the staff at Castlebay Library to help select books and other library resources for customers and deliver these to them in person.

The Home Library Service volunteers will deliver much more than books – they will be a friendly, familiar face making a regular home visit to people whose mobility and social interaction are perhaps limited. They will also provide a useful check on the safety and well-being of people living in the community.

Katherine MacNeil, Volunteer Centre Barra said: 

“I am delighted to be working in partnership with the CNES Library Service to develop this fantastic volunteering opportunity, which will run throughout Barra and Vatersay.  Volunteering with the new Home Library Service is a great way to connect with people in the area who are unable to visit the library so they can continue to enjoy books and reading. We look forward to promoting this volunteering opportunity.”  

Kathleen Milne, Libraries Manager, said:

“We are very excited to be finally be able to launch Caraidean Leughaidh.  Currently Barra and Vatersay are the only islands not supported by a mobile library service and so connecting volunteers with residents who may be housebound for some reason, will make a huge difference in people’s lives. We are so grateful to the Volunteer Centre for their support in making this project possible.”

Anyone who may be interested in becoming a home library service volunteer, can contact Western Isles Libraries or the Volunteer Centre for more information.  We would also like to hear from any residents from Barra and Vatersay who would like to sign up to use the new service.

For further information, please contact:

Western Isles Libraries (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar)
Kathleen Milne
Libraries Manager
Western Isles Libraries
6 Kenneth Street
Isle of Lewis

Tel:  01851 822790 Email:

Volunteer Centre (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

If you are interested in volunteering with this service, please contact Katherine MacNeil, Volunteer Development Worker, email or telephone 07539040408.