by Jan Zauha
The past several weeks have tragically proven what a valuable news resource the Web is.
Newspaper sites worldwide saw an increase in Web traffic during and after the events of
September 11. Network news sites served up the latest information for the convenience of
citizens leading the double lives of the shell-shocked. Now as we try to make sense of
these atrocities, understand the players on a new world stage, and sort out our private
and national responses, the Web continues to offer valuable resources.
Close to home the Montana Emergency Response Information provides numbers for Montana-area Red Cross
districts and links to other state government departments with useful emergency information,
such as Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) of Montana.
For national emergency perspectives, the American Red Cross monitors the progress of relief efforts, solicits contributions, and offers disaster
counseling materials. More extensive counseling materials can be found at the Trauma Information Pages of psychologist David Baldwin.
The APA's "Managing Traumatic Stress" also offers help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers FEMA for Kids to help translate terrorist actions and
other disasters into language children can better understand.
Reports of charity scams began coming in literally before the smoke cleared in NYC. FirstGov provides forms for reporting
scams and fraud, as well as a checklist for determining charity validity. More scam
information is available at sites like Purportal.com and ScamBusters.
To learn more about the U.S. military response, visit the Department of Defense for links to all branches of the armed forces. NATO provides the text of the North Atlantic Treaty, including
Article 5. The State Department NATO
fact sheet succinctly describes the history, structure, and strategies of the organization.
As issues of national security and personal freedom escalate, see the American Civil Liberties Union for discussions of the impact of security measures on civil
liberties. The Anti-Defamation League's site reports on the reactions
of various groups to the terrorist strikes, from the American Muslim Association of North
America to the Michigan Militia.
To take a break from the news, visit "American Treasures of the Library of Congress", an exhibit of uniquely American digital
images like Thomas Jefferson's library and other artifacts of democracy. For images and texts
of seminal national documents like the Bill of Rights, see NARA's exhibit hall. A touching look
at the loss of a national monument is offered at "New York's World Trade Center: A Living Archive".
Sadly, information on terrorism is destined to mushroom on the Web. To keep abreast visit some
of the indexes mounted by libraries in response to September 11 -- Vanderbilt University, SUNY Buffalo,
and the University of Richmond provide excellent compilations of Web resources on this horrific topic.
For help locating more information, in print or online, call or stop in at the Renne
Library reference desk. If you find Web sites that you think might be of interest to the MSU
community, please send me an e-mail message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan Zauha is the reference team leader at the MSU Libraries.