Hugh Renfro, a consultant and retired oil executive, will discuss the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and present an IMAX film titled “Arabia” at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Avenue, Metairie.

Renfro, 91, is the former head of the Arabian Chevron Oil Co. and a producer of “Arabia,” made in 2010. He lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for 23 years. Renfro will discuss Saudi culture, monarchy, the role of women in Saudi society and Saudi Arabia’s leap into the 21st century.

The 46-minute documentary is narrated by actress Helen Mirren and directed by Greg MacGillivray.

The World Affairs Council of New Orleans is co-sponsoring the free event. It seeks to increase the community’s awareness of global issues and to further international understanding through nonpartisan educational and social forums with a commitment to diversity and inclusive fellowship.

Closed for renovation

The Live Oak Branch closed on Monday and will be closed for about 10 weeks as interior and exterior renovations are made.

Interior renovations will include a new drop-down ceiling, carpeting, painting and upgrades to the electrical and HVAC systems. To provide better and more cost-effective interior lighting, additional windows will be installed in the rear of the library, along with a new LED lighting system throughout the branch. The restrooms also will be refreshed.

Exterior renovations will include a new roof and upgraded LED exterior lighting systems. Patrons who have holds on books, movies, CDs or other materials can get them at the Westwego Branch, 635 Fourth St. Staff members will call patrons to remind them to go to the Westwego Branch. More information on renovation progress will be posted on the library’s website.

Calligraphy group to meet

The New Orleans Lettering Arts Association will meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the North Kenner Branch Library, 630 W. Esplanade, Kenner. The group meets monthly to explore and share calligraphic techniques. Space is limited, and registration is required. Go to new

German genealogy

Earl Sundmaker Jr. will discuss several new websites that are making research into German ancestry easier at 7 p.m. on Monday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. He also will discuss the history of the German-American Cultural Center in Gretna and how it can benefit area researchers. The meeting is sponsored by the Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans. It was established in 1960 to foster an interest in family research and to encourage preservation of genealogical records in New Orleans and the Gulf South.

Doing the time warp

The East Bank Regional Great Books Discussion Group meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss “The Time Machine.” The H.G. Wells classic begins at an English dinner party, where a group of gentlemen are discussing the device one of them is making so he can explore the fourth dimension. No one is identified by name, but when the men gather the following week, the device’s inventor, referred to as Time Traveler, is strangely absent. When he arrives later, he recounts his amazing sojourn into the future. Most of this 1895 novella deals with Time Traveler’s stay in a world where dark forces lurk behind an idyllic exterior.

NOLA Science Café

Julie L. Whitbeck, Ph.D., ecologist at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, talks about ecology research and wetlands preservation at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. Science Cafés welcome people who may not typically get involved with scientific discussions. They are dynamic interactions between a scientist and the public. The public feels empowered to learn, and the scientist speaker gains valuable perspective on his or her work.

What is war?

The Great Book Discussion Group at the Old Metairie Branch Library, 2350 Metairie Road, focuses on Carl von Clausewitz’s masterpiece, “On War,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Clausewitz, 1780–1831, was a Prussian general and military strategist influenced by the Napoleonic wars in which he fought. Written in a dialectic style influenced by Hegel and subject to varying interpretations, it remains influential.

All programs at the library are free and are open to the public. For more information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to or friend the library’s Facebook page for daily programming updates.