Librarian Fired for Reporting Child Pornography
There is a petition.
Librarian fired for reporting child pornography
Supervisor warned her not to call police over illegal activity
A bizarre battle has erupted over the arrest on child pornography charges of a man at a California public library, with library and county officials siding against the staffer who called police to arrest the alleged criminal.
Librarian Brenda Biesterfeld was fired from her job after disregarding her supervisor's orders not to call police.
Now a pro-family organization and a law firm are rallying support for her.
That makes absolutely no sense.
So basically her bosses are pervs too????
I do not care what the law says .... Any person aware of child abuse in ANY form should legally have to report it!
Why on earth would they tell her not to?
Exactly - just makes NO sense. Her supervisor said the library handled this internally and it (looking at porn at the library) was a bigger problem than one would expect.
Originally Posted by Amraann
Maybe I'm hopelessly naive, but why can computers at libraries even access any porn?
That was my question. We can block that stuff on our personal computers. Why wouldn't a public library do the same?
Originally Posted by southcitymom
This library did have blocking. Problem is that the porn this guy viewed was an attachment in his email. That's how he got around the block.
Originally Posted by Jules
Because the ACLU is on this as a freedom of speech thing and has been for years. This is recent article but I have read things like this for a long time now.
Originally Posted by Jules
Library board to vote on porn access
ACLU says restrictions would be unconstitutional
Are public library restrictions against pornography access unconstitutional?
That's what the Sacramento Public Library Authority Board will decide when it votes on a resolution that could make porn available in its libraries. A meeting is scheduled tomorrow night.
Last month, when the issue was first addressed, the American Civil Liberties Union maintained the position that restricting public access to pornography in libraries would be unconstitutional, while attorneys for the Pacific Justice Institute disagreed.
It's strange to me to. The attorneys for the librarian claim that the ACLA (library assoc) believes this falls under a freedom of speech thing. But frankly, I don't get that. There seems like there must be more to this story, but I can't figure it out.
Originally Posted by philamena
This story was all over the news around here when it happened. I don't know what the status is on Brenda's complaint now. Of course Brenda's supervisor that fired her claimed that there were "other reasons" for the firing. She was on probationary status at the time because she had worked there less than 6 months. However, I believe she had worked in that capacity some years ago, so this was a rehire. The last I heard Brenda had signed a release so that her official reason for the firing could be made public. I wish I knew where it stands now.
The accused apparently has a low IQ and maybe classified as "mentally difficient" and the pictures he was viewing came from his email attachment, which is why the library filters didn't block it. My understanding is that they were pictures of young boys undressed, but not engaged in sexual acts. That doesn't make it any better, but it wasn't the really hard core stuff.
Thank you, Pepper. I knew there was more to this story. It all makes a lot more sense to me now.
Originally Posted by Pepper
April 28, 2008
Ropes, candy found in porn suspect's car
Librarian notified police when man accessed X-rated files online
Originally Posted by SewingDeb
I disagree with this case
It is a shame that she was fired, but I disagree as to why. The level of documentation of emails, tasks, daily activities is consistent with when the library is concerned with the person's performance. I worked at a state university for a while and we had to do this for an employee so that we would have a case if we let her go right at the 6 month mark when the probabtion period would have ended. The documentation they have on her is countless little things and some not so little things such as filling in time cards wrong. The consistent trail along with the 5 of 10 at her 3 month review leads me to believe she is twisting the case. Many people that apply for government positions and are let go before their probation period put up a huge stink, seek publicity, sue, etc. I think she would have been fired even if she weren't a whistle blower. The law says that you can't be fired for being a whistle blower. It does not say that if you are a whistle blower you are immune from being fired when a case has been built against you for 5 months before the incident.
By the way, i agree she did the right thing, and that many libraries may be too lienent. I think that the library system needs to be evaluated. However, I think the issue that should be evaluated is whether they allow porn to be viewed and how they handle it. I think the library built a strong case against the fired librarian long before the incident.
I'm sorry but I think this is crazy.
It would be one thing if it were just porn, even if it were porn of a very graphic nature. But we're talking CHILD PORN. Which is illegal. I think the librarian did the right thing in calling the police. It would be one thing if the library knew somebody was viewing porn but didn't know who, but when he's caught in the act? Yes, please arrest the pervert.
She shouldn't have been fired.
Maybe somebody should look closer at her supervisor who says "this happens more often than you think."
At our local library the computers for adults and a seperate section of computers for the kids which do have blocks.
My problem isn't that somebody might view porn this was child porn we are talking about. I don't see how anybody can defend this.
Also, at our library, there is a sign posted for the adults if you're going to be viewing material of a graphic nature to ask for some kind of screen covering guard, not exactly sure what that is.
But that's where it can be hard to know - Barely Legal Teens or 15 year olds? I don't think librarians should have to make that determination. Do they have Hustler and Penthouse in public libraries?
Originally Posted by MsRusty
I have no problem with porn at all. I just didn't know public libraries trafficked in it.
Originally Posted by southcitymom
My local public library doesn't. There is a pretty strict filter. Of course, I'm sure anyone who has the time and drive could hack around it.
Her description of the event when it occurred on the library files is that it was child pornography -- she saw him viewing naked boys. This wasn't adult pornography.
Originally Posted by southcitymom
From the first link
"But when police confiscated the computer from the library, Hill confronted them and said they had no business enforcing the child pornography law within the library."
Ahh, so libraries are protected states for child pornographers? Niiiice.
That "warning" business is ridiculous. Librarians "warn" people and children when they are being too loud. NOT when they are looking at little kids on the monitor performing sex acts.
Hey, did anyone else notice this:
The incident developed on Feb. 28 when Beisterfeld, a single mother, was working in the Lindsay Branch library,
Who the heck cares if she's married, widowed, divorced or single?! Bad editing, IMO. (OK, sorry that just got me for some reason.)
Here's Judi Hill in an article from 7/07 celebrating her 30th anniversary there. Funny, she teaches computer lessons. (Old pic on front page, bio on back.)
Here's a little more about the creep:
On March 4, Brenda saw the same man viewing the same type of images on the library computer. She called the police, who arrested Donny Lynn Chrisler and took away the computer as evidence.
Chrisler, 39, is a diagnosed schizophrenic, deaf and a library regular. Police searched his home finding porn, including child porn, on his home computer. He is being held in Tulare County Jail on $100,000 bond.
What happened next shocked this peaceful, small, country town. Judi Hill called the police demanding the return of the computer, and protested Chrisler's arrest as a violation of his "privacy rights"! On March 6, Brenda was notified that she was fired from her library aide job for "unacceptable performance."
A wave of anger swept through Lindsay. The Lindsay City Council sent a stinging letter to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, threatening, among other things, to ask the county to turn operation of the branch library over to the city.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Lindsay City Councilwoman Suzi Picaso: "As a community, we are extremely upset. We want to make sure that people who move here know we have policies in place to keep our children safe. If the library's policy is not to report such viewing, then we might have to break our partnership with them."
Chrisler's defense attorney has a similar view. Roland Soltesz asserts that the stash of porn found in Chrisler's home contained only a few images of children among hundreds of legal porn photos of adults. No big deal, right? (more at link)
I'm completely at a loss. So a federal crime is committed in a library and the library police are going to handle it internally? With what, their book wands?
They fired the WRONG employee.
Last edited by adnoid; 05-02-2008 at 05:06 PM.
Reason: Requested by the original poster - who's nice enough, so why not?
They are so full of poo-poo it hurts. She blew the whistle.
Originally Posted by Taximom