The fundamental purpose of American Spaces is to provide access to accurate information about the United States, the American people and culture and U.S. foreign policy. In the past, this was mostly provided through books about these topics and works of literature and other writings by American authors, as well as DVDs and computers for accessing electronic databases. While such self-directed resources remain valuable where appropriate, American Spaces today are expected to offer an active calendar of programs that directly engage target audiences to increase their knowledge and foster discussion about the United States.
The embassy/consulate should play a central role in planning and supporting this kind of programming. Examples of such programming are presentations by visiting American speakers, embassy/consulate officials or other Americans in the community; discussions/debates on current international issues; book reading and/or English conversation clubs on topics from U.S. history, culture or current events; film screenings, etc. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity and that of those who use your American Space. The new Community Forum is a great place to look for ideas and share your own.
Share America is an information service of the U.S. Department of State that provides an excellent place to find interesting information about the United States to share with your patrons. The short articles are written in easy English. They are also easy to share on Facebook or other social media platforms, and the articles can be printed to use for conversation clubs, to get discussions going or to challenge patrons to find out more information on the topic from books or online.
Monthly Thematic Program Content Guides prepared by the Smithsonian also are a great resource for doing programs that provide information about the United States.
Outside IIP, Voice of America provides online resources for learning about the United States and the American people. These include information about the U.S. Constitution and People in America Profiles.