Here’s the “everybody gets a prize” mentality at work: A 9-year-old boy in a small town in northeastern New York likes to read too much for the local librarian’s taste.
Tyler Weaver, the self-proclaimed “king of the reading club” of at Hudson Falls Public Library in Hudson Falls, N.Y., just won the library’s summer reading club contest for the fifth year in a row by packing away 63 books between June 24 and Aug. 3, according to the local Post Star.
And that’s too much for Hudson Falls Library Director Marie Gandron, who says young Tyler “hogs” the awards so much she’s thinking about getting rid of the contest entirely.
“Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,” Gandron said, noting Tyler should “step aside” for the greater good.
Tyler’s mother disagrees.
Katie Weaver told the Post Star she’s “extremely proud” of her son. And if the other kids can’t keep up, that’s just the way it goes.
“I’ve told them God makes all of us different. There are some things that are hard and some that are easy, but they should excel at what they enjoy doing and Tyler just loves to read,” she said. “Everybody he tells, he gets high-fives. Everybody’s so proud of him.”
But Gandron, who’s been library director for 40 years, told the Post Star she was so tired Weaver’s winning ways she had planned to change the contest rules. Instead of giving a prize to the kid who read the most books, the library would just put all the participating kids’ names into a hat and pick the winners at random.
(She said she probably won’t go through with that, though, now that the media’s involved.)
Lita Casey, an aide at the library for 28 years, is generally in charge of asking the children questions about the books they claim to have read. She told the Post Star she thought Gandron’s idea of replacing the contest with a drawing out of a hat was so “ridiculous” she called a library board member to complain.
“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?’” Casey told Post Star. “
“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.
Meanwhile, instead of being able to savor his victory, Tyler told the Post Start the whole controversy got him “a little bit angry.”
“If they end up where a librarian would pick out a name from a hat … she might only read one slip and then (that child) would be picked out. He didn’t put enough effort in and he won. It’s not fair,” he said. “How would it even be a contest if you just picked a name out of a hat?”