Sorry folks..this is a great idea, but so far, that's all it is. ...we'll let you know if it ever goes anywhere!
24/5 real-time reference service
IRCWORLD information resource centers and libraries around the world collaborate to field real-time reference questions about the U.S. 24 hours a day Monday through Friday. There are IRCs in 19 of the world's 24 time zones, so that any hour of the day Monday through Friday will fall within business hours of several IRCs.
When you submit a question to the system, the response to your query could come from any of more than 140 IRCs located in 19 of 24 zones. For this reason, you should not submit country-specific questions such as "what bus do I take to get to the embassy?" or "do you have historical information about the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Ankara?" Such questions should be directed to the specific embassy or IRC that would most likely be able to answer them.
Your initial question must be posed in English. When a librarian comes online to answer, you will see from the signature where in the world the response is coming from. Remember that real-time reference is best suited for exchange of short questions/answers, or for getting guidance about where to find the information you need on the internet or elsewhere; if you need to pose a longer question, you can ask the librarian who responds to you to provide you with an an email address where you can continue the dialog. IRCWORLD librarians can provide information about U.S. government, legislation, domestic and foreign policy, and society and values, and they can advise you on where to find more information on just about any aspect of the United States.
hats off to Rob Casson of Miami University of Ohio Libraries for sharing his RAKIM online reference software