Children and LibrariesHere’s a follow-up to my post of March 16 about the branch manager, Brenda Biesterfeld, who was fired by the Tulare County (CA) Library after she ignored a supervisor’s instructions and called police when she saw images that she considered child pornography on a library PC’s screen.

Biesterfield has been presented with a Gold Star Award by a conservative group called Family Friendly Libraries for helping keep public libraries safe for children. Here’s a bit of the FFL’s press release about the award:

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.

The press release also mentioned how she felt “threatened” by her supervisor, Judi Hill (please note correction from my previous post, as I didn’t see Hill’s name mentioned in any of the earlier stories on the topic). But Biesterfeld told the local media that she felt it was her duty to call the police, and after the firing said that she would do it again.

Without knowing the whole story, it’s hard to make judgments on whether Biesterfeld’s firing was justified, but after reading what made it into the stories I’ve read online, it seems that the library administration has angered a lot of citizens – and created a ton of bad publicity for the library – by firing a staff member who believed she was doing the right thing.