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Information Resource Center: American Embassy
American Embassy, Harare
November 16, 2005

1. What is the IRC in the American Embassy structure?
The IRC is "The Information Resource Center (IRC)" and is part of the Public Affairs Section (formerly USIS). With a wide range of print and electronic resources it provides current authoritative information about the United States, its policies, its social, economic and political processes. The information resources are specifically intended to meet the needs of government officials, civic leaders, journalists, researchers, professionals and academics interested in the United States.

2. What specific subject areas does the IRC Collection cover?
The collection covers current topical issues such as: information technology; journalism; womenís issues; American society and values; political process; conflict resolution/international relations; economics; labor relations; entrepreneurship; education; management; American literature; American art; performing arts; and American history.

3. Are there any Newspapers in the IRC?

The Information Resource Center subscribes to the following newspapers:
  • New York Times (Sunday edition)
  • USA Today (Daily)
  • Wall Street Journal (Daily)
  • Washington Post (Sunday edition)

4. Does the IRC provide Reference and Information Services?
Trained staff members are available to answer questions and assist patrons in locating materials of their interest. The IRC is well equipped to provide information about biographies, official speeches, contact addresses of officials and institutions; legislation; web sites; newspaper and journal articles; reports and documents from the U.S. Government or Think Tanks. Inquiries can be done in person, by fax: 263-4-758802 telephone: 263-4-758800/1,
or e-mail:

5. Does the IRC Assist Researchers when information needed is not available in the local collection?
When information and documents are not readily available from our on-site resources, the Information Resource Center can provide special referral services to the United States. When necessary, our Washington Office can make personal contact with government agencies, academic and research institution, foundations, business and non-governmental organizations in search of illusive materials. For this service to be effective in meeting deadlines, adequate lead-time may be needed for processing the inquiries.

6. What kind of periodicals are held by the IRC?
The Information Resource Center subscribes to 60 periodical titles in hard copy. Included in the subscription list are: Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Business Week, Current History and Foreign Affairs. A complete list can be provided upon request.

7. What Other Services are provided by the IRC?

7.1 Electronic Journals

The Information Resource Center has access to the State Departmentís electronic journals. These topical journals cover: freedom of information, economic issues, governance and American society and values. The IRC provides hard copies or electronic copies proactively and upon request.

7.2 Online Databases

The Information Resource Center has access to major American online databases. This is a rare and unique service in Zimbabwe due to the availability of full text articles to thousands of American journals and newspapers. Databases include:

    • Lexis-Nexis: provides full text access to U.S. Public Laws, Code of Federal Regulations,
    • EBSO Host:
    • Proquest Direct: provides access to an extensive collection of over 4,000 indexed titles and over 2,000 full text journals with illustrations.
    • Galenet: Covers a wide range of directories, and other products, mainly from the Internet with access to the Congressional Record, the Federal Register and Congressional Bills Ė all accessible on the day of publication.
    • State-USA: An online resource supported by the Department of Commerce containing crucial and timely business and economic information produced by the U.S. Federal Agencies.
    • Public Diplomacy Query (PDQ): an online government resource that provides full-text of speeches by U.S. officials and facts.

7.3 Photocopying
Photocopying facilities (for personal use) are provided, at a fee, for library patrons to be able to copy from any of the IRCís print resources. The IRC observes all copyright restrictions, which may apply.

7.4 Public Access Computers
The Information Resource Center provides Internet facilities to individuals who wish to do personalized research on American issues. Qualified staff members are available to offer orientation and assistance upon request. Due to a limited number of computers available, access to personal e-mail is discouraged.

8. Does the IRC provide membership and lending services?
Membership, which entitles one to borrow books, is available to lecturers and students at universities and approved colleges; government officials; media personnel; retirees; and authentically employed persons in business, education and NGOs. Membership is processed upon payment of an annual processing fee of Z$100,000.00. Proof of employment or a supporting letter may be requested. Members must comply with library rules and regulations.

9. Can non-members have access to the IRC resources and serives?
Anyone over the age of 19, who does not qualify for membership, can access the IRCís resources and facilities for on-site use only. Our trained staff members provide assistance to those wishing to conduct research or undertake specific projects either in person, by telephone, fax or e-mail. .

10. Does the Embassy host a website for those unable to use the IRC?
Yes, for background information about the Embassy and answers to FAQ (Frequently asked Questions) visit our website at:

10. What are the IRC's opening hours?
The IRC is open to the public: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 10.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.

The Information Resource Center is CLOSED on Wednesdays, Zimbabwean and American Holidays.

11. Where is the IRC Located?
The IRC's contact details are:

38 Nelson Mandela Avenue
Century House East
P.O. Box 4010
Harare, Zimbabwe

Tel: 263-4-758800/1
Fax: 263-4-758802

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