Free ways to spend the day

It’s raining again outside. You have seen all of the summer movies and can’t afford to spend much money. So where do you go for a good time? The library! The thought of fun and libraries don’t connect in many people’s minds, but Hillsborough County libraries have many interesting classes and events going on this month. Not only are all activities indoors and air-conditioned – but they’re also free.

If you’re into Irish/acoustic music:

On June 26 at 7 p.m. at the Brandon Regional Public Library, 619 Vonderburg Dr., singer and songwriter Brandon Nolan will perform both original acoustic and traditional Irish songs. Nolan has a total of five solo albums. He is very familiar with Irish culture, as he was born in Dublin and lived there for many years.

If you’re feeling crafty:

Do you notice that you have a lot junk around the house? Well, West Gate Regional Library, located at 7606 Paula Dr., is giving you a chance to put it to good use. On June 17 at 3 p.m., an art student will teach how to create trash sculptures out of recyclable goods. All you have to do is bring your own trash and creativity.

On June 20 at 3 p.m., Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library on 2902 W. Bearss Ave. will offer lessons on origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

For more folding fun, go to West Gate Regional Library on June 25 at 2:30 p.m. to learn the art of iris folding that originated in Europe. According to the library press release, “iris folding is a paper-folding technique resembling the iris, or lens of the camera.” Seating is limited for this class, so come early.

If you want to discover the roots of your family tree:

Have you ever wondered where your family originated? Well, now is your chance to learn from genealogist Kathy Whitelock. On June 24 at 10 a.m. at the Lutz Branch Library – 101 Lutz-Lake Fern Rd. – she will talk about the basics of genealogy research, how to organize family history and valuable Web sites that can help unlock your family’s past. And if you can’t make the workshop, the library has many genealogical resources at their Web site.

If you like to multitask:

For two classes in one, go to the Brandon Regional Public Library on June 21 at 1 p.m. to learn about feng shui and money. Feng shui, defined by the Princeton WordNet, are “rules in Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy.” Deborah Abrams, a feng shui consultant, will integrate the teachings of feng shui into the handling of finances.

If you’re into baking – or just eating:

On June 17, the New Tampa Regional Library will host its Third Annual Baking Contest. If you wish to enter, you must be at the library with your baked goods at noon. However, if you are not a cook, come at 3 for the award ceremony and a chance to taste the desserts.

The saying that “nothing in life is free” is untrue when comes to the library. There are many more classes and events at Hillsborough County libraries. For more information, log on to their Web site at