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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany. Management and Budget Division / The America Houses, a study of the U.S. Information Center in Germany

IV. A. Program emphasis,   pp. 119-121 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 121

Descriptions of program content in the Findings section prompt the
conclusion that a highly disproportionate amount of program time is
expended on entertainment or subject matter unrelated to the main objec-
tives of the information program.
Too many America Houses ' programing activities are still of a
marginal nature. Lectures on travel, on history, on biographyr, on
literature, etc. are onlyr meaningful if they pertain to the United
States or implement specific Public Affairs objectives. The very fact
that certain America Houses have set up programing categories such as
"International" or "Purely Cultural" indicates loose
thnking on the
part of the directors. It is felt that the fields of Americana and
Public Affairs objectives are rich enough for any program and should
obviate the need for "sugar coating.
Priority of Program Emhasi
The library collection and the unlimited potentialities of its use
represent the keystone of the America House program. The libraries are
the basic reason for the acceptance of the America Houses as a nomal
part of the German communities, and in themselves represent a significant
bridge between the German and the American people. It is proper for the
staff time spent on library operations to be greater than any other acti-
vity. This emphasis should continue since they are not passive, reading
room types of activity. The modern comunity library in the United
States provides a wide range of civic and cultural services. While the
America House has a different objective from that of a public library in
the United States, it siiould use the same tools. An aggressive America
House library program can and should relate to and support every other
activity in the House. If this is done, the library should consu  about
50 per cent of the time and resources of the staff.
Next to the library, lectures and discussion programs should receive
the second greatest amount of attention, follod by fi   and concerts,
both live and recorded.
The exhibits program should not be considered a program in itself
,but rather as a support for other activities.
English language classes should be do-emphised as a coumity
service, and efforts should be concentrated an advanced cls ses and di-
cussion groups, closely relat   them to the library and general discussion
The Airica House should be known as a place where children are
welcomed, but, aside from a children's section of thelibrary, it is
difficult to justify special program  such as painting, theatricals, and
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