Information Resource Center
The United States Embassy's Information Resource Center (IRC) is the source for reference and research information about the United States in Port of Spain.
It is open to the general public from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Operated by the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy, the IRC provides information on virtually all aspects of the United States, including social sciences, economy/trade, foreign policy, drug abuse, citizen participation in government, communications technology and the environment.
The IRC collection includes reference books, periodicals, scholarly journals, and CD-ROMs, although the main emphasis is on the provision of information via electronic sources.
The electronic information sources of the IRC include CD-ROMs, on-line data bases, electronic journals as well as materials drawn from the Internet. The advantage of information in this format is that it is unlimited in scope and often more up to date than print publications.
The IRC staff is trained to search the Center's print and the electronic collection to provide the information about the United States. The quick reference service provides data, mainly contact information, for U.S. companies, universities, government agencies and other public and private institutions. The staff also carries out, on a selective basis, comprehensive searches on issues regarding U.S. policy and American society.
The IRC's 400 volume collection of reference books includes dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias and almanacs.
The IRC subscribes to almost thirty print periodicals from the United States, principally news weeklies and scholarly journals.
Department of State-produced Electronic Journals provide the latest information on a number of foreign policy issues. The journals, divided into the following five thematic areas and are published on a rotating basis, appear every three weeks:
- Economic Perspectives
- Global Issues
- Issues in Democracy
- U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda
- U.S. Society and Values
The IRC staff uses the Internet for those searches requiring updated information or data unavailable at the IRC in print form. The IRC subscribes to six on-line data bases which provide additional sources of highly specific information. Limited access to the Internet is available for a fee.
Data bases available at the IRC on CD-ROM include: Annenberg Washington Program/Electronic Library Reference Guide (c1996) - contains a large collection of documents in the fields of communications, information technology, political science, journalism, international relations, education, social science and law. Public Diplomacy Query (PDQ) - articles from U.S. newspapers and magazines, updated quarterly. United States Code - contains the full text of all U.S. Federal Government laws which were in force on January 24, 1994. Career and College Quest - a comprehensive, interactive student advising system that gives users access to information on 3400 U.S. universities and nearly 6000 accredited U.S. vocational and technical schools.
The IRC has an extensive collection of materials on academic programs; scholarships; library, laboratory and lodging facilities; entrance requirements and non-academic features of a broad cross-section of U.S. universities and colleges. It also offers educational counseling and information on student visas. No appointments are necessary.
On Monday, May 12, 2005 the United States Embassy opened its “Education Corner” at the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) in Port of Spain.
The Education Corner serves as an extension of the educational services currently available at the IRC and was established at this centralized location to allow members of the public easy access to information on educational opportunities in the United States.
The Education Corner is accessible during NALIS’ opening hours, and the Embassy’s Educational Advisor is available for individual consultation on the first Monday of every month from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. The Education Corner is located on the first floor of the library in the adult section.
NOTE: The United States Embassy offices are closed on Public Holidays