Local pianist Tom Hook will discuss and perform the music of the American Civil War at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. This event is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required.

Hook’s appearance will be the second in the “Conversations with the Artist” series sponsored by the Hall Piano Company, the Steinway Society of New Orleans and the Jefferson Parish Library.

Hook began his career in Kansas City, Missouri. For much of the 1980s and 1990s, Hook was involved with the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, working as an entertainer and entertainment director of various steamboats and cruises. Currently, Hook performs on the American Eagle and Queen of the Mississippi riverboats with his one-man historical drama, “Riverman!” He regularly performs his tribute to Louis Prima at the World War II Museum’s Stage Door Canteen.

For “Conversations with the Artist,” Hook will present a program of music from the Civil War period (1861-1865) from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, emphasizing not only the patriotic sentiments of the day but also the poignant, tender and comical music of the soldiers in the field and the loved ones waiting at home.

NEW LIBRARY CARDS: Through April, people with Jefferson Parish Library cards can swap out their cards for one of two new designs at no cost. Beginning May 1, a $1 fee will be charged for those who want new cards. One card features a Louisiana swamp scene; the other features a swamp creature family that is reading. New patrons will have the same choice of the two cards. Membership at the library is free of charge.

BIG BOOK SALE: The Friends of the Jefferson Public Library will conduct its semiannual Big Book Sale from Thursday, March 26, to Sunday, March 29, at the Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd., Kenner. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 26-28; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 29. More than 55,000 used books, puzzles, DVDs, CDs, videotapes, music tapes and vinyl records will be offered for sale. The sale includes fiction and nonfiction books such as collectibles, art, travel, history, military and Civil War books. Cash, checks and major credit (Visa, MasterCard and Discover) and debit cards will be accepted. Admission is free; parking is plentiful. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Jefferson Parish Library.

PRESERVATION TALK: Preservationist Casey Stuart talks about “Lost New Orleans, Below Canal Street,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie. Stuart worked for more than 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry and retired in 2003. After retiring, he went to Tulane University, where he earned a master’s degree in preservation studies. He teaches a course on historical New Orleans at The Sharing Program at St. Francis Xavier Church in Metairie and previously has taught New Orleans history for The People Program of New Orleans. He is president of the Louisiana Landmarks Society and second vice president of the Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans. He is a specialist in the architectural history of New Orleans, and he has lectured extensively on New Orleans history and architecture topics and on the historic cemeteries of New Orleans.

For information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to www.jplibrary.net.