May 29, 2022

Takoma Park, MD Library Technology Purchase Sparks City’s Nuclear Free Policy

Note: Takoma Park, MD borders the District of Columbia and Silver Spring, MD.


The purchase of upgraded computers for Takoma Park Library has sparked a debate about the community’s nuclear-free policy.

About 130 communities nationwide have such an ordinance. But, Takoma Park is considered one of the most restrictive.

Ellen Arnold-Robbins, the Takoma Park Library director, said “It was HP (Hewlett-Packard) computers, and we didn’t know it until they arrived.”

Hewlett-Packard might be a popular line of computers for some consumers, but it’s a red flag for the Takoma Park community.

The library says the delivery came through its longtime vendor, Userful.

Nuclear-Free Takoma Park Committee Chair Jay Levy explained, “From a pencil to a police car, nothing can be purchased from a company that’s a nuclear weapons producer or contracted with the government.”

Since Hewlett-Packard had ties with U.S. nuclear weapons programs, the company went against the city’s nuclear-free ordinance.

The issue went to city officials who discussed and voted for a rare waiver after public input.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.