Information USA, the Information Resource Center (IRC) of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, reaches out to Romanian audiences and provides information on U.S. Government policies, American history, culture and values via cultural and educational programs, professional workshops, and the network of nine American Corners throughout the country. It is an integral part of the Public Diplomacy section of the U.S. Embassy in Romania.
Information USA provides timely information about the United States to today’s Romanian opinion leaders in media, government, business, academia, and civil society. It supports the embassy program activities and offers information and services to other Mission elements in support of their official needs.
What We Do
The IRC offers reference material and advanced research services to Romanian institutions and professionals on various aspects of U.S. policies, including federal/state legislation and regulations, foreign and domestic policy, international relations, defense and security, social and political processes, economics and trade issues, history and culture, environmental issues, telecommunications issues and policies. In addition, a quick reference service is provided to cover addresses, telephone and fax numbers of government and private organizations, simple statistics, biographical information on prominent persons and other matters of general interest. Similar reference services are offered to Mission officers.
The IRC is also responsible for coordinating a network of nine American Corners (ACs) hosted by Romanian libraries in Bacau, Baia Mare, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Constanta, Craiova, Iasi, Timisoara, and Targu-Mures. Similar to the IRC, the ACs provide information and organize cultural, informative, and interactive programs that connect Romanian students and young professionals to American contemporary society.
Information Resource Center Services and Programs
- Research/Quick Reference Assistance
Qualified reference specialists will assist with inquiries and research by telephone, mail, fax, e-mail or in person. For complex questions, they can compile bibliographies and detailed reports on desired USA – related topics, using online commercial databases (ProQuest, EBSCO, Gale).
- Referral Service
When the Center is unable to provide the required information from its own resources, it is usually able to identify appropriate sources within Romania or United States, such as national, state and local government agencies, research institutions, and professional associations.
The staff can give general or subject-oriented briefings on the resources and services of the Center to individuals or groups upon request. The “Open House” program offers to potential users of the IRC Power Point presentations of the resources and services of the Center. At the same time, profiles of these guests, highlighting their activities and special needs, are created, in order to send them, when appropriate, materials on the new developments in their field of interest.
- Meet America
The IRC team invites U.S. diplomats to speak to high schools and university students in Bucharest (or cities near Bucharest) on a U.S.-related topic. The speech is followed by a Q&A session. This program offers the students the opportunity to meet a native speaker of English, exercise their English and learn about the United States. The subjects are related to the United States: government, politics, diplomacy, rule of law, justice, human rights, economy, history, culture, environment, sports, family traditions, holidays, etc.
- The IRC also invites American diplomats and other American specialists to speak to Romanian youth at the American Corners via Digital Video Conferences (DVCs), as part of See U.S. via DVC Program.
- Wednesday 2pm Speaker’s Corner
This is a speaker program organized every Wednesday at 2:00 pm at the American Corner Bucharest, hosted by the National Library of Romania. U.S. Embassy diplomats and interns, Fulbright scholars in Bucharest, and U.S. Department of State traveling specialists offer lectures and conduct workshops for students and young professionals on a wide range of U.S.-related topics and global issues.
- America on Screen
Following an invitation from high school English teachers in Bucharest and cities close to Bucharest, the IRC organizes screenings of documentaries on various topics such as American Writers, Civil Rights Movement, Electoral Process in the U.S., Global Warming, American Landmarks, American National Parks, and many others interesting topics. For an in-depth understanding of the issues and to encourage students to speak in English, the movie showings are followed by debates moderated by the English teachers.
Information Resource Center Resources
Among the tools available at Information USA there are:
- a reference collection of 400 titles, which includes encyclopedias, handbooks, yearbooks, and directories. It covers fields such as U.S. Government and Politics, Federal and State Laws, U.S. Trade and Businesses, Media, Customs, Linguistics, some Architecture, Painting, Music and Sports, Marketing and Management, and American Literature, Geography, and History. Click here for the online catalogue;
- journals (about 10). Among the available titles, there are: The Economist, Time, Journal of Democracy, Foreign Affairs, East European Politics and Society, The New Yorker, Computers in Libraries, and others;
- a collection of video documentaries and feature films (580) on American topics with re-broadcasting rights, to be used by broadcasters and cable operators, as well as by various Romanian educational institutions.