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 1:00-3:00 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 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.
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.