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JASON MCKIBBEN/THE POST-STAR

A Hudson Falls, NY library aide was fired this week  for doing the unthinkable.

Standing up for a child who liked to read.

Lita Casey worked as an aide at the Hudson Falls Free Library for 28 years and ran the library’s summer reading contest. Her boss, library director Marie Gandron, didn’t feel it was fair that Tyler Weaver, a 9-year-old, has won the contest since he was in kindergarten. Grandon wanted to change the rules to end the child’s winning streak. Gandron reportedly said the boy “hogs” the contest and should “step aside.” So instead of a contest, Grandon wanted to pull the winner’s name out of a hat. But Casey wasn’t having it.

“My feeling is you work, you get it. That’s just the way it is in anything. My granddaughter started working on track in grade school and ended up being a national champ. Should she have backed off and said, ‘No, somebody else should win?’ I told her (Gandron), but she said it’s not a contest, it’s the reading club and everybody should get a chance,” Casey told the Post Star in an Aug. 15 article.

Unfortunately the  library’s board of trustees thought instead of remedying the issue of the contest, it would be better to fire Casey and Gandron.

“I asked why I was being terminated, and I was told the board would not give a reason. I asked if I could come down and talk to the board. He went away for a minute, came back and said no.

“I worked there for 28 years without a complaint,” said Casey, who also taught nursery school for 42 years. “I have to believe it was related to the whole reading controversy.”

Who knew reading could be so controversial.

So now you have two unemployed library professionals, and a little boy who missed out of possibly winning the contest after he read 63 books this summer. Way to go Hudson Falls.

 

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  • http://gravatar.com/designdiva40 paintgurl40

    I hope this doesn’t discourage his passion for reading. I may not read books like War and Peace or Pride and Prejudice, but I love to read!

  • Sultry Clue

    The picture up there speaks volumes. We have Tyler, who won 4 (!!!) years in a row previously and probably figured he had this one tied up too. Then we have the other kids behind him looking around with expressions ranging from indifference to discouragement because they figured they didn’t have a chance.

    I actually side with the former director on this one. It has nothing to do with discouraging this arrogant little twit (yes, I called him that because that is what he comes across in his comments). Fine, he loves to read, I’m happy to hear it. Too many kids spend their time playing video games, blah blah blah. I hope he never loses his love of reading.

    But this is what happens when it becomes more about winning than participating. This shouldn’t be a contest to get a tshirt, it should be a program to encourage reading. When it becomes a contest, and only one person is recognized for a long period of time, the fun gets lost. It’s suddenly about nothing more than winning.

    Why does Tyler read all those books? Because he truly loves reading, or because he just wants to show off?

    • Belle

      Tyler put in the work and won the contest end of story. If the other kids want to step up their game and beat him they should read more books.

      If the library feels that other students are trying and being discouraged they could give everybody a participation prize, but I’m not going to knock a kid as an “arrogant twit” because he likes to read.

    • Deb

      Dang you really drank the kool aid of “everyone who participate is a winner” doctrine that has almost crippled some in our generation with feelings of entitlement. I bet you have a whole row of participation trophies from elementary school.

      He works hard for something that is meant to encourage reading and participation and wins while the rest of the students probably sit back. He’s an arrogant little twit for trying and excelling.

      PC mentality is going too far man.

    • surleyqbear

      wow. what is wrong with you? sigh. nevermind. i don’t even wanna know.

    • Anthony

      @ Sultry Clue, you remind me of a “friend” of mine who got mad at me for using “big words.” I told him we took the same English classes, I just remembered my vocabulary lessons. Hating someone who has achieved reeks of insecurity.

  • JN

    It really is just a contest…did someone had to lose a job over it? smh

  • Tash

    Listen!! 63 books over the summer?! 1 Summer = 3 months of kid(s) in the house too dag long. 63 books/3 months = average of 21 books per month. 21 books per month + occupied kid(s) = peace. Solution: Everyone is happy!

    I have a love for kids that are voracious readers. As long as Tyler keeps reading then that’s all that matters. Kudos to Ms. Casey

  • Annoyed

    The negative comments here exemplify a lot of what’s wrong with American values and the kind of damage we inflict on our children. I hope this boy continues to read and isn’t damaged for being an overachiever. I would bet real money that this happened because the parent of some slacker lodged a complaint.