Library Employee Fired For Reporting Patron’s Use Of Child Pornography

The following are excerpts from an March 18, 2008 article appearing on

“Library Employee Fired For Reporting Patron’s Use Of Child Pornography” – March 18, 2008

On March 18, 2008, Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors challenging the termination of Brenda Biesterfeld, a Librarian Assistant, who was fired without explanation shortly after she reported to the police that a man was viewing child pornography on a library computer.

On February 28, while working at the Lindsay Branch Library, Biesterfeld noticed Donny Lynn Chrisler, a 39-year-old man, viewing child pornography on one of the public-use computers in the library. She immediately went to her supervisor, Judi Hill, who instructed her to give him a warning and explain that on his second warning he would be banned from the library. When Biesterfeld asked if she should call the police, Hill told her not to and that the library would handle it internally. Biesterfeld was also told that similar events happen more often than she would think. Unsettled by the situation, the next day Biesterfeld went to the police.

On March 4, when Chrisler returned, Biesterfeld saw him viewing more child pornography and summoned police. When police officers arrived they caught Chrisler viewing the child pornography, arrested him, and placed him in the Tulare County Jail, where he remains in custody on $10,000 bail. Further investigation uncovered more child pornography in Chrisler’s home.

Two days later and without explanation, Biesterfeld was terminated. The firing of Biesterfeld has outraged the Lindsay community and has raised concerns over how the Library responds to the viewing of illegal child pornography on library property.

Liberty Counsel now represents Biesterfeld and has sent a demand letter to the Library officials requesting that Biesterfeld be reinstated. The letter also demands that the Library change its policy to prevent the use of library property for illegal behavior, to establish a prompt reporting system, and to take measures to protect children.

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