Information Resource Center

The Information Resource Center (IRC) has a wide range of print and electronic resources and provides current, authoritative and comprehensive 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, decision makers, opinion leaders, journalists, researchers and scholars interested in the United States.

  • Public Outreach Programs

The IRC conducts regular mobile outreach programs to target groups in universities, colleges, secondary schools, public libraries, youth centers, research centers and other public institutions to disseminate information and promote dialogue with Zimbabweans about the United States, its policies and social and political processes.  If you are interested to discuss with U.S. Embassy staff a particular topic related to American society, please contact the IRC staff at harare-irc-dl@state.gov.

  • Electronic Resources

The IRC provides electronic services and resources to the public, including the following:

Article Alerts:  Article Alerts are thematic compilations of information on topical issues published by State Department, U.S. news media and other sources.  The Alerts are circulated electronically twice every month.  If you are interested in receiving the Alerts, please contact IRC staff at harare-irc-dl@state.gov.

eLibraryUSA: eLibraryUSA has a broad range of resources about American history, arts and culture, English language learning, science and technology, business news, and health issues. It is available at American Spaces around the world. eLibraryUSA provides virtual access to nearly 30 authoritative databases in the United States.  Contact the IRC staff at harare-irc-dl@state.gov to learn how you can access eLibraryUSA.

eJournalUSA: The IRC also provides access to eJournalUSA and other electronic journals from the Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs.  Each issue of eJournalUSA examines a major topic facing the United States and the international community, and informs international readers about U.S. society, values, thought, and institutions.

Internet: The IRC provides Internet access for research, access to eLibraryUSA and other electronic journals, journalism work and other reference activities. Photocopies of specific articles from reference materials and periodicals can be supplied within reasonable limits.

  • Print Collection

While focus is on electronic information resources, the IRC also stocks a small collection of print materials.  These include books written by American authors, popular American magazines and newspapers such as Newsweek, Time, Forbes, Fortune, the New York Times and Washington Post.  The collection emphasizes information on U.S. politics, history, foreign policy, culture, business and economics.  General reference books and U.S. government directories are also available.

The Book Collection

The IRC has a, carefully selected, collection of about 4,500 books. The collection covers current topical issues such as: information technology; journalism; women’s 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.

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 bibliographies, official speeches, contact addresses of officials and institutions; legislation; web sites; newspaper and journal articles; reports and documents from the U.S. Government and Think Tanks. Inquiries can be done in person, by fax: 263-4-758802 telephone: 263-4-758800/1, or e-mail: harare-irc-dl@state.gov

Special Reference Facilities

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 institutions, 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.

Periodicals

The Information Resource Center subscribes to 70 periodicals in hard copy. Included in the subscription list are: Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Business Week, Current History and Foreign Affairs.

Newspapers

The American Resource Center subscribes to the following newspapers:

  • New York Times (Sunday edition)
  • USA Today (Daily)
  • Wall Street Journal (Daily)
  • Washington Post (Sunday edition)
  • Electronic Journals

IIP Digital features the latest from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs.

State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) engages international audiences on issues of foreign policy, society and values to help create an environment receptive to U.S. national interests.

IIP communicates with foreign opinion makers and other publics through a wide range of print and electronic outreach materials published in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Persian, Russian, and Spanish. IIP also provides information outreach support to U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Read more from below: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/#ixzz1iyE2ynbd

The Information Resource Center has access to major American online databases This equips us to provide a 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.

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, GPO, with access to the Congressional Record, the Federal register, and Congressional bills, all accessible on the day of publication.

STAT-USA: An online resource supported by the U.S. Dept of Commerce, Economic and statistics administration, containing crucial and timely business and economic information produced by U.S. Federal agencies.

Public Diplomacy Query (PDQ): An online government resource that provides full-text speeches by U.S. officials and facts.

Photocopying

Photocopying facilities are available upon request, while printed pages from any of the IRC’s print resources can be provided  at a fee, for library patrons.  The IRC observes all copyright restrictions, and reserve the right to limit the number of requesters’ pages.

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, individual usage is limited to thirty minutes.

Patrons who are above 18 years of age are eligible to use the Information Resources and facilities for free. This includes lecturers and students at universities and approved colleges; government officials; media personnel; retirees and authentically employed persons in business, education and NGOs.

Currently, patrons are not able to borrow books from the Information Resource Center. Those wishing to make copies of the library books and magazines have to request for assistance from the librarians.

All patrons must comply with the library rules and regulations.

  1. Entry to the Library is free to all Zimbabwean citizens and residents over the age of 19 years.
  2. Free membership, which guarantees unrestricted access to the IRC is reserved for  the following categories: University lecturers/students; Lecturers/students at teachers’ colleges; Polytechnic lecturers/students; authentically employed persons and Retired persons.
  3. Some form of identification may be requested for security reasons.
  4. Trained staff will guide members on use of the IRC resources and facilities.
  5. IRC resources are, (currently), restricted to onsite use only.
  6. Library users may be charged for defacing books and other library resources. Patrons caught stealing or defacing library materials will be prosecuted.
  7. Smoking, eating and drinking are not allowed in the library.
  8. Reading of personal books/notes and conducting of private business are strictly prohibited in the library. However, note-taking from reference materials and periodicals is permissible.
  9. Library Hours are:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 10:30 – 4:30 (Inclusive of lunch hour(s). Friday: 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Library is closed on Wednesday.
  10. Library and Offices are closed on American and Zimbabwean Public Holidays. 

The Information Resource Center (IRC) has since 2008 provided access to software applications and the Internet for visually impaired users at its centers in Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru.

Through the world’s most popular screen reader, JAWS for Windows, users with visual impairment (due to blindness or low vision) can access modern software applications and the Internet. JAWS has a multilingual synthesizer that speaks through the computer’s sound card, reading information from the screen aloud and providing access to a wide variety of informative, educational, and job-related applications. It allows users to access a whole world of information, education, and job-related applications for browsing the Web, reading or writing e-mail messages, working with spreadsheets, or accessing information in a database.

The main IRC library is based at the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in Eastgate, Harare. Services for the visually impaired are also available at the William E. B. Du Bois American Corner based at the Bulawayo Public Library and at Gweru Memorial Library. Access to these facilities is open to the public free of charge for individuals who want to conduct research on various topics including further studies in the United States.

Visually impaired individuals who want to learn how to use these computers can make prior arrangements with the IRC staff.

Enquiries should be directed to the IRC staff, U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section on harare-irc-dl@state.gov, Tel. 04-758800-1, Fax: 04758802, https://zw.usembassy.gov/

America.gov publishes electronic journals on five main subjects; International Relations, American Life, Economy, Global Challenges each month.

New Electronic Journal:

“More Than Elections: How Democracies Transfer Power”Volume 15, Number 1, ISSN 1948-4399 (online)

Democracy requires more than holding elections. Healthy democracies are defined by the expectations of citizens and the common rules, understandings, and trust they build. This eJournal USA explores the contours of civil society and political legitimacy within which peaceful transitions of power can occur.

The link between stable, honest government and economic prosperity is being recognized increasingly around the globe by governments, private sector leaders, and entrepreneurs. Voices from all these quarters are heard in this edition of eJournal USA. National leaders and local leaders explain their views of good governance. Experts in the fields of business and development assistance explain how good governance has become critical to building prosperity.

Founded in 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle is the oldest continuous book club in America and has remained a leader in adult education through quality book selections and author discussions. Each summer, the CLSC chooses nine to ten books of high literary quality and invites the authors to the Chautauqua Institution to present their work to audiences of up to 1,000 readers.  The CLSC’s original aim was the promotion of habitual reading and study of nature, art, science, and secular and sacred literature, as well as the encouragement of lifelong learning.  Today, the CLSC represents the standard by which all other book clubs, literary circles and study groups are measured.

The Chautauqua book list offers a diverse choice of great works of literature for pleasure and professional level reading. The U.S. Embassy Information Resource Center in Harare (Public Affairs Section, Eastgate) and the Bulawayo American Corner (Bulawayo Public Library) welcome members of the public to join the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle of Zimbabwe (CLSC-Z). CLSC-Z members who read twelve books from the book shelf will receive a CLSC graduation diploma and be recognized by the Chautauqua Institution during its annual CLSC graduation ceremony in August. Download the CLSC book list here (PDF 270KB).

The U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section (PAS) invites the public to participate at our Food for Thought (FFT) discussions. FFT is a weekly seminar series hosted by PAS every Tuesday afternoon between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m at our offices in Eastgate Mall (7th floor, Goldbridge).

The format is usually a 30 minute presentation followed by a robust question and answer session.  We advertise our FFT session on social media (through our Facebook site and Twitter feed) and through our ZimPas Highlights (a free weekly email newsletter sent to interested Zimbabweans).

Please visit U.S. Embassy Harare’s Facebook page and follow @usembassyharare on Twitter to find out more information about upcoming FFT presentations.