Hudson Falls, New York Public Library Director Marie Gandron wants 9-year old Tyler Weaver to stop participating in the “Dig into Reading” event so another child can win. Weaver won his fifth straight contest earlier this month when he read 63 books from June 24-August 3.
Tyler starts fifth grade next week and has been the top reader since kindergarten. His brother, 7-year old Jonathan, came in second two years in a row. Their mother Kate says she is very proud of her sons. From the Post-Star:
“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.”
Gandron told the newspaper Weaver “hogs” the contest and kids drop out because they cannot keep up. She told the Post-Star how she would change the contest:
Gandron further told the reporter she planned to change the rules of the contest so that instead of giving prizes to the children who read the most books, she would draw names out of a hat and declare winners that way. She said she can’t now because Katie has come forward to the newspaper.
Library aide Lita Casey came to the boys’ defense. She keeps track of the contest and asks questions to determine if kids have actually read the books the claim to. She told the Post-Star the changes were ridiculous and said the boys are active readers:
Casey said everyone in the club is on a level playing field because all begin and end the same day and all have the opportunity to read as many books as they wish.
“We’re not going to see some of these kids until next year, and you’re worried about them (being treated equally), and then, you’ve got two kids who come in every week taking books out?” she said.
Casey established a special relationship with the Weaver boys, who call her “Gram,” because they are frequent visitors to the library. She said between the two brothers, they have borrowed 1,000 books in the past few years.
Mrs. Weaver said if the rules do change she will transfer her boys to the Crandall Public Library. Even at 9-years old, Tyler Weaver understands the new rules are not fair. From the Post-Star:
“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?”
“I don’t see the downside of Tyler winning five years in a row. I think people should be proud of him, especially a library director,” Mrs. Weaver said.