Library Aide Who Defended Perennial Reading-Contest Winner Is Fired

Library Aide Claims She Was Fired After Defending Young Reader
Remember Tyler Weaver, the 9-year-old who allegedly got on the bad side of a local librarian for being too dedicated a reader and reading 63 books to win a contest? Now the library aide who stood up for him reportedly has been fired without explanation.

Weaver of Hudson Falls, N.Y., had won the local public library's reading contest for years by reading dozens of books each time. The controversy last month arose when it was reported that the library's director, Marie Gandron, thought Weaver should retire from the contest and let someone else win.

Gandron allegedly suggested that the fifth-grader "hogs" the contest and planned to change rules mid-contest to pick winners at random so that she could deny Weaver his prize, according to a report in the Glens Falls Post-Star. His mother, Katie Weaver, said, "Tyler deserves an apology and an explanation as to why this is even an issue. You know, he read the most books. Say 'Congratulations!' like everybody else does."


Gandron eventually told WTEN-TV in Albany that she had been "misquoted" and "taken out of context."

Library aide Lita Casey also allegedly took exception to Gandron's plan and stood up for Weaver, according to an interview with the Post-Star, even though she thought there was a chance that she was putting her job into jeopardy. She called a member of the library's board to complain about the situation.

"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 said.

Casey said some of the children read only the minimum of 10 books so they can receive an invitation to the [annual] party at the end of the program.


Last week came the news that, after 41 years, Gandron no longer worked at the library. Library board of trustees President Michael Herman confirmed the departure to the Post-Star, but wouldn't explain the cause, or whether the library's longtime director had left voluntarily or not. Then early this week, Casey was fired -- without explanation, she says. But Casey thought she had a pretty good idea why, she told the Post-Star, though she was still "stunned" to get a call from the board of trustees firing her:

"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. [Herman] 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."


According to the library's website, the 103-year-old institution receives the "major part of its funding" from the Village of Hudson Falls, the Town of Kingsbury, and the Hudson Falls School District. The board of trustees has nine members. Without Gandron and Casey, there are now four staff members to cover operations at the library six days a week.

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doug

you want to change the rules mid-stream??? best to wait until next year and before it starts require that the kids write up a small who-dunnit list of characters, who the villian was, who stopped him and basicly what the plot of the book was. that proves you read it instead of just checking out a book and then turning it in to try to claim a prize like some of the lazy kids out there would do. as far as firing without an explanation, take it to court and zap their butts. I have never been fired without an explanation from the job and I have been fired a time or two in different lines of work!

September 22 2013 at 4:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Janet Lombardo

After all a library director is first and foremost a diplomat for all libraries.

September 21 2013 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
digginya62

WoW, that's some serious reading that boy does....lmao.....but the library's director, Marie Gandron seems to
want to be the Real Boss alright, as I understand why she she's doing this and I've got empathy for the real
possibility that this boys winning every time might cause more kids to Not enter the contest just knowing who
is entering has won so many times....It's a tough call but it seems to me, Marie might need to change the way
the contest is won by having the regular way that's "Reading the Most", but having other ways to award good
readers as well with some type of prizes & not allow any of the contestants to win more than one award/prize
which could be a way to keep it growing ? Her creativeness will determine if this contest can continue but one
never makes the fastest runner "Sit it Out" for being to quick...lol & I do wish her well in Growing her contest.

September 21 2013 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janet Lombardo

Communication - it's all about saying what you mean and meaning what you say. It is unfortunate that this library director did not learn that after so many years.

September 21 2013 at 11:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
brennemanbelkin

Library board of trustees President Michael Herman sounds like a shameless coward.

September 21 2013 at 11:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cars62

This is exactly what is wrong with this country! If you expect people to EARN things you are wrong but if you are a lazy useless drain on society you get rewarded for it!

September 21 2013 at 11:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
stevevasta

The whole business reminds me of when Ken Jennings was the "Jeopardy!" champion for those several months. I knew a lot of people who decided it was "too much" when he was winning all the time -- they actually seemed to begrudge him his continuing success!

It seems you mustn't be too smart. We Americans claim to value education and decry its erosion, but we don't like it when someone-or-another is too much smarter than we are.

September 21 2013 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lewtheprof

Liberals! (shoulder shrug)

September 21 2013 at 10:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sadiejaye

Does anyone know that the majority of kids leaving school cannot read or spell, therefore their writring is pathetic and somewhat unreadable. I find it so sad. There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than sitting down with a good book and losing myself in all the wonderful things and places I can picture in my head; never leaving my house. Reading has been so important to me ever since I sounded out and read my first word! I cannot imagine not having this gift. I am sad over this article as a child is so impressionable at this age. I pray it does not affect his love of reading. The lady who stood up for him needs to be rehired and given all back pay. It is obvious that in this day and age children just are not getting the encouragement they should be given. She is one in a million let her continue to encourage kids to read all they want. The award given seems reasonable to me for someone reading more than others. I received so many of those while in school. I still always have a book with me wherever I go - though mostly on my kindle now.

September 21 2013 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
take1pro

41 years and that's what she gets!? Perfect example that feudal system are alive and well.

September 21 2013 at 10:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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