ircworld is a team blog of nearly 180 information resource centers (IRCs), libraries and American centers located at U.S.embassies and consulates in more than 140 countries. These information centers are a vital component of the U.S. government's public diplomacy effort, and provide foreign audiences around the world with authoritative and up-to-date information about U.S.foreign policy, government, legislation, domestic issues, and society and values. IRCs also serve an important function in providing information support services to embassy and consulate staff, and in managing embassy/consulate websites.

IRCs range from one-person reference centers to full-service walk-in libraries with public access terminals and substantial collections. A world-wide staff of nearly 500 locally employed librarians and information specialists respond to the thousands of questions and information requests about the U.S. that are submitted by foreign audiences to embassies around the world each year.

The ircworld weblog has three main objectives:

  1. To share, within our IRC community and with the general public, ideas, products, tools and information resources that we come across in our work each day.
  2. To advance a spirit of global collaboration and resource sharing within the IRC community.
  3. To collectively promote IRCs and their services to foreign audiences around the world.

Jill Walker, in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory (2005) proposes the following definition: "A weblog, or *blog, is a frequently updated website consisting of dated entries arranged in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first (see temporal ordering)" For a fuller definition and overview of the genesis and history of blogs, see Jill Walker's blog at or the Wikipedia entry on weblogs

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