The press release found in this post was suggested in whole. After searching I could not find something that I could link to out there. The full text of the press release that was submitted is available "below the fold".
FAMILY FRIENDLY LIBRARIES TO GRANT GOLD STAR AWARD TO LIBRARY MANAGER WHO WAS FIRED AFTER REPORTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
LINDSAY, CA CITY COUNCILWOMAN SUZI PICASO TO PRESENT AWARD AT CITY COUNCIL MEETING, TUESDAY, MARCH 25TH
Family Friendly Libraries, a national organization dedicated to maintaining safe public libraries, has granted a Gold Star Award to Brenda Biesterfeld, the library manager who was fired on March 6, 2008, from a Tulare County Public Library. Biesterfeld was fired after reporting a man to the local police who was allegedly viewing child pornography on a public library computer. Biesterfeld’s supervisor, Judi Hill, had instructed Biesterfeld not to call the police.
Family Friendly Libraries grants Gold Star Awards to librarians who demonstrate exemplary dedication to protecting children in public libraries.
Suzi Picaso, a Councilwoman for the City of Lindsay, CA, where the library manager was fired, has been a vocal critic of the library’s handling of the child pornography incident and the firing of Mrs. Biesterfeld. Picaso said that Biesterfeld deserves an award, and that many Lindsay residents feel the same. Councilwoman Picaso will have the opportunity to publicly present that award to Brenda Biesterfeld at City Council meeting to be held in council chambers in City Hall on Tuesday, March 25th at 6:00 pm. City Hall is located at 251 East Honolulu Street, Lindsay, CA, 93247.
“She kind of threatened me,” Biesterfeld said in published news reports.
“She said I worked for the county, and when the county tells you to do something, you do what the county tells you. She said I had no loyalty to the county.” Biesterfeld said she has no doubt that losing her job stems from her decision to call police about a man she saw viewing images of naked boys on one of the library's public computers Feb. 28. The boys appeared to be about 9 to 13 years old, she said.
It was reported that the man was identified by Lindsay police as Donny Lynn Chrisler, 39. Biesterfeld said she stood behind him for 10 to 20 seconds and clearly saw thumbnail photos of blonde boys in various poses.
Police later searched Chrisler's Lindsay home, where they reported finding more images of child pornography. They arrested him on suspicion of possessing child pornography and participating in the production or presentation of obscene matter in public places.
The firing of Mrs. Biesterfeld has attracted national media attention and outraged local citizens, many of whom attended a candlelight vigil for the fired librarian on March 18.
According to news accounts, leaders now plan to take the matter further.
They say they will set up an independent investigation under the oversight of a judicial official because of the amount of public concern and attention brought to the case.
Family Friendly Libraries commends Brenda Biesterfeld for courageously acting on her conscience, even risking her livelihood, to protect both the children in her community at risk of being exposed to criminal images displayed on a computer screen in the public library and children who are exploited by child pornography worldwide.
The Visalia Times Delta
KGPE CBS TV-47