Job hunting


Unfortunately, the current crisis has led to a rise in unemployment, and if you find yourself in this situation we do have a couple of things that can help you.

Firstly, we have a subscription to Universal Skills ( This gives information and advice on registering for Universal Credit, the necessary steps for job-seeking on the Government’s website, and useful skills such as preparing for interviews. You can log in with your library card number.

Also, on RB Digital ( we have a few eBooks that may help you – ‘Taking Charge of your Career’, ‘CV and Interview 101’, ‘Job Interviews for Dummies’, and ‘Getting Started in Small Business for Dummies’.

We hope it helps. Good luck.




Poet’s Corner-with Jean Hill and Alan Brown


Wokingham Library Poetry Group Members have written some more verse to inspire us in the dog-days of Summer. Alan Brown has been experimenting with a great new poetry form.

A poet and performer Liv Torc, had the idea of asking her friends to write haikus about their experience of the pandemic in three lines 5-7-5 syllables calling them haiflus.

Here are Alan’s – I think you will agree they are very clever.

 Now I dream my dreams

without the need of reasons

for not living them.


Though masked and distanced,

the strange camaraderie

of the patient queue.


Now sad Spring has passed

we sit and watch lame Summer

limp towards the Fall.


Jean Hill has continued to write some  great verse inspired by the pandemic:




Boris from his podium

Said lockdown could be eased

Those alone could join a ‘bubble’

And to hear this I was pleased

All the Grannies and the Grandads

And single parents on their own

Can choose to hug a loved-one

And compassion can be shown

So I rang all my relations

Here and there around the place

As I hopefully approached them

A grateful smile upon my face

Please can I join your ‘bubble’

I asked Choice Number One

No, we’re having the wife’s mother

She’s by herself and wants to come

So off to phone another

Will you be my support home

No, we’re having Cousin Mabel

She was the first to phone


Now I’m ringing round the neighbours

And contacting my best mates

Please can I come and join you

No, they’ve enough upon their plates

With rejection I’m more lonely

Cut deeper than the sharpest knives

Reaching out to others

In the hope to share their lives

Now I admit my poem’s fiction

I have family that care

I can join one of my dearest

And in their lives I’ll share


But there are others out there

We must gather to our hearts

And make them feel they’re wanted

Not still facing life apart


Broadly speaking it is progress

’Though divisive it may be

With families making choices

When they cannot all agree

Make room inside your ‘bubble’

Hold out a welcome hand

Until we come together

In our green and pleasant land





First day back, I’m here in school

Observing the two metre rule

With distance markings round the blocks

As students sit ‘A’ level mocks

When masks hide smiles and eyes are wary

An alien concept some find scary

And as I invigilate each test

All spaced apart they do their best

With teacher care and school support

Exam room calm and no-one fraught

With no dramatics, each one steady

Revision done and all are ready

Instructions read and pens are poised

The room is hushed, no sound, no noise

And in my heart I wish them well

As I squirt the antiseptic gel

keep calm







Long Lasting Summer Borders

Long Lasting Summer Borders


A suggestion for a recommended flower for long lasting summer planting and borders,

RUDBECKIAS must be considered the stars of the late flowering gardens. Rudbeckias are also known as Cone flowers due to the cone prominent in the centre of the flower. Annuals are easy to grow from seed and choices of the various varieties can always be found in the Garden Centres.

Planted in the Spring in moist soil seedlings emerge in approximately 21 days but need plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or in a conservatory or green house to grow on. Then prick out to seed trays where they grow happily until it’s safe to plant them, when it’s frost free, out in the garden, or in pots and by patios, but they look best when combined in a summer border with the other prairie style flowers. They like moist well drained soil and full sun.


They will grow on providing colour until late in the autumn, with just the usual dead heading when needed as the plant finishes flowering. There are usually a lot more flowers to come on and bloom too. If pretty flower heads are removed on a bright sunny day and left to dry they will provide healthy seed to grow on again for the following year if required. Annuals come in bright yellows and oranges and a shorter variety: –

  • Little Goldstar, 50cm x 40cm looks lovely growing in drifts at the front of a border.
  • Cherry Brandy has deep chocolate burgundy flowers, 60cmx45cm and is great as a long lasting cut flower
  • Cherokee Sunset is a semi or fully double flowered variety in shades of yellow and chocolate brown, 75cmx45cm.
  • Rudbeckia hirta – Prairie Sun has green centres and light orange petals which fade to lemon yellow. Slightly taller at 90cmx 45cm.
  • Aries is a semi double and can be grown as an annual or a biennial and is clump forming, and like all other Rudbeckias is popular with bees and butterflies.

So lots to choose from.


There are also perennial varieties. Taller Herbstone, up to 6 feet, Goldquelle between 5 and 6 feet and look good at the back of the borders.

Leaving both annual and perennials standing throughout the winter instead of cutting them down provides seeds for birds to eat in the winter months.


This is a guest post written by Jenny Gilbert, a member of the WHA.

Library Book Quiz No 6 The Answers

We hope you enjoyed our library  quiz about  animals in literature. We asked you to match these animals with the correct book title. How did you do?bunnies

Here are the questions again and the answers:

  1. Crookshanks (cat)
  2. Bull’s-Eye (dog)
  3. Aslan (lion)
  4. Cujo (dog)
  5. Pilgrim (horse)
  6. Snowball (pig)
  7. Pongo and Perdita (dogs)
  8. Fiver and Hazel (rabbits)
  9. Wilbur (pig)
  10. Shadowfax (horse)


  1. Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
  2. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis
  4. Cujo by Stephen King
  5. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
  6. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  7. The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
  8. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  9. Charlotte’s Web by E B White
  10. The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein

Look out for our next quiz which will appear on Saturday July 4







Freegal Playlists


Have you tried our free music streaming and download service, Freegal, yet? If not, you will find it here:

You will see that Wokingham Libraries regularly post playlists that we’ve created – you’ll find them by choosing ‘Browse’, then ‘Playlists’. There are currently over a dozen playlists there, and we are adding more all the time.

However, if there is nothing there that appeals to you, it is really easy to create playlists of your own, to give you the perfect soundtrack to whatever you are doing – exercising, winding down for the day, or drifting off to sleep.

To do this, go to ‘My Music’ and tap ‘Playlists’ – you will be given the option to ‘Create a Playlist’. Once you’ve done this, simply search for songs, and when you find one you like, tap the 3 dots on the right of the screen and choose the ‘Add to Streaming Playlist’ option.

To listen to your playlist, go back to ‘My Music’, select ‘Playlists’, then tap on your playlist to open up, and on the ‘Stream’ button to start it playing. Enjoy.

National Shelf Service – latest recommendations


The National Shelf Service is a daily YouTube broadcast featuring book recommendations from librarians for children and young people

It’s now been running for 12 weeks! Check it out on Monday to Friday at 11.00am. And check out the recommendations too via our free online RBdigital service. Where the ebook/eaudio is available, we stock it.

On Monday 22nd June, Ann Ngabia MBE, school librarian from Grangemouth High School and the Braes High School recommended Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi 9781509871353[1]Adeyemi (available as an eBook).

Zelie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zelie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

On Tuesday 23rd June, Hannah Smith, librarian from North Huddersfield Trust School, 9781407130224[1]chose Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (available as an eBook).

When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuing quest leads them into the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies.



On Wednesday 24th June Val Sawyer’s choice was The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin 9780141317083[1]Colfer (available as an eBook).

During the holidays, Will and his big brother Marty are packed off to the library, the home of the dreaded librarian Spud Murphy, who uses a spud gun on kids who put a foot wrong. Eventually, Will and Marty discover a love of books and that Mrs Murphy isn’t so bad after all.




On Friday 26th June, Maria Fernandez, librarian at Townley Grammar School recommended The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon (available as an eBook).9780552574242[1]

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is 12 hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store – for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

For information on how to access eBooks and eAudio, visit the website

Not a library member? You can now register online at



Weekly Origami Club – Star Box

Origami Club SRC 2020 Logo20200625_095549

Download Star Box instructions here.

We would love to know what you have made, please take a photo and tag Wokingham Borough Libraries on our social media or email your photo to

Thanks to for the instructions.

If you’ve missed them, our previous challenges can be found

Library Book Quiz No 6

Welcome back to the Wokingham Borough Libraries weekly quiz. This week we’re bunniesshining the spotlight on our feathered and furred friends and looking at birds and animals that feature in novels. How many titles can you identify from the list of characters? There are characters from both adults’ and children’s literature.

Don’t forget you can access our online catalogue for ebooks, audiobooks and comics at If you’re looking for some inspiration for a new recipe, hobby or just the day’s news you can find magazine and newspaper titles free of charge through PressReader, at If you’re not a member at the moment don’t worry, you can sign up through the Spydus website.

Time to dig out those binoculars and spot the novels or series of novels that these creatures appear in:

  1. Crookshanks (cat)
  2. Bull’s-Eye (dog)
  3. Aslan (lion)
  4. Cujo (dog)
  5. Pilgrim (horse)
  6. Snowball (pig)
  7. Pongo and Perdita (dogs)
  8. Fiver and Hazel (rabbits)
  9. Wilbur (pig)
  10. Shadowfax (horse)

The answers will appear on our blog on Monday June 29









Boating Magazines on Pressreader


Have you been missing the waterways? Get your fix by reading this great selection of boating magazines, all available free from our “Pressreader” online content provider.

Canal Boat is Britain’s best inland waterways magazine. Filled with all aspects of narrow boating – ideas for future trips, travel and boat ownership stories from fellow readers, photographs of boat builds, events and so much more.

Towpath Talk is a feature-packed monthly newspaper covering life and leisure around UK’s extensive canal network.

Motor Boat and Yachting is Europe’s best-loved motorboat magazine packed full of in-depth boat reviews, cruising guides and expert sailing advice. Find comprehensive coverage on independent, unbiased tests on a variety of boats inside each issue.

Also available are Practical Boat Owner, Yachting World, and Yachting Monthly.

Your library membership number gives you complimentary access here

If you are not a library member you can apply for library membership online at for instant access

Wokingham in Past Times

Local historian Jim Bell looks back at some newspaper reports from the Reading Mercury about life in nineteeenth century WokinghamJim pic



Mon 1st Jan 1827

The town of Wokingham being entirely free from the old practice of bull-baiting by the strict attention and perseverance of the worthy Alderman, and Corporation of that ancient borough, whose charter bears a date previous to the reign of James I, on St. Thomas’s day last, upwards of 400 poor families received bread, meat and some clothing, from the charities bequeathed to the above town and parish.


Mon 19th March 1827





An improved rent of £307. Per ANNUM


At the Auction Mart, in London, on Wednesday, March 21, 1827, at twelve o’clock, in three lots:

Lot 1.–A FREEHOLD ESTATE, advantageously situated in Peach-street, in the town of Wokingham, in the county of Berks; comprising a SILK MANUFACTORY, capable of containing 60 looms, with suitable Buildings and Appurtenances, Yards, Gardens, &c. As the same was late in the occupation of Mr. John Douglass, deceased.


Lot 2.—A FREEHOLD MESSUAGE or TENEMENT, situated in Rose-street, in that part of the town of Wokingham, which is in the county of Wilts, with the Out-houses, Gardens, and Appurtenances, to the same belonging, and the Out-house standing in the yard of the White Hart Inn, as the same were late in the occupation of the said Mr. John Douglass, and now partly of Mr. James Chappell.


Lot 3.—An improved RENT of £307. Per ANNUM, secured upon the Minster Mill, and extensive Premises now occupied as a Silk Mill, eligibly situated in the parish of St. Mary, in the town of Reading, Berks, in the occupation of Mr. James Douglass.

May be viewed, and particulars had on the respective premises; at the principal Inns in Wokingham and Reading; of Mr. James, solicitor, Bucklesbury; at the Marr; and of Mr. Shuttleworth, No. 28, Poultry, London.

Mon 29th Oct 1827

Wokingham Fair will be held on Friday, Nov. 2, when there will be a fine ox roasted whole in the Market-place. The fair is expected to be unusually great, as there will be a variety of amusements. A very large show of cattle is expected.


Mon 14th July 1828

On Wednesday last the Corporation of Wokingham and several gentlemen of the neighbourhood, were entertained at Billingbear by Lord Braybrook, in celebration of his being elected to the office of High Steward of that ancient corporation


Mon 20th Oct 1828

This day fortnight, as the apprentice of Mr. Goodchild, butcher, Wokingham, was returning from Arborfield, he was overtaken by three men, one of whom asked for a lift, and was permitted to enter the cart, when he immediately presented a pistol to the breast of the young man, while the others held the head of the horse, and the one in the cart robbed him of £5. 12s.; on their going to make off, the young man complained of being left entirely without money; when it was said, Give him a shilling, which happily proved to be a sovereign.

Mon 1st Dec 1828

At the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, for the county of Wilts, held, by adjournment, at Wokingham, on Wednesday last, before Sir Moris Ximenes, chairman, Timothy H. Altabon Earle, esq. Charles Fyshe Palmer, esq. M.P. and others, Justices of the said County, George Mitford, esq. of Shinfield, Philip Browne, esq. of Hurst Grove, and John Walter, esq. of Bear Wood, severally took the oaths, and duly qualified themselves to act as Justices of the peace for the county of Wilts.

woky 1