Adventures of An Aspiring Librarian

Summer 2013 and the State Department

on January 23, 2014

After returning from Europe in June 2013, I headed to Washington DC to intern for the US State Department in the Office of American Spaces in the International Information Programs Bureau. While I can’t disclose much about my internship here, I can provide you with some quotes and links about the office in which I worked.

The Office of American Spaces works with libraries and embassies around the world. It aims to bring information about the English language, American policy, and American culture to those who might not otherwise hear about it and to those who might want to learn more about it. The office states:

American Spaces provide welcoming environments where visitors can connect and learn about the United States. Hosted in embassies, schools, libraries, and other partner institutions worldwide, American Spaces are platforms for providing information about the United States, our policy, culture, and values; English language learning; alumni activities, and information about study in the U.S.

A multifunctional platform for public diplomacy programs, American Spaces promote open dialogue, counteract negative preconceptions, and build bridges of understanding. Often located outside of capital cities, they serve as venues where embassy officers and employees have the opportunity to meet with local residents who have limited exposure to American culture and ideals. (http://www.state.gov/r/iip/amerspaces/index.htm)

I really enjoyed my time in Washington, and am lucky to be continuing my time with the bureau in a virtual capacity now. I met people from around the world, expanded my knowledge of librarianship and information sharing/access. Furthermore, I lived in a house with international students, and as such was able to challenge myself and grow as I  found myself constantly exposed to new ideas and perspectives.

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