Librarian Fired After Defending Child Who Loves to Read
A veteran New York librarian was stunned to learn this week that she was being fired after 41 years on the job — all because she defended a child whom her boss felt read too much.
Lita Casey (above, left), a library aid at the Hudson Falls Public Library for the past 28 years, made headlines last month when she rejected library director Marie Gandron's claim that 9-year-old Tyler Weaver was "hogging" the library's reading contest for kids because he had won it five years in a row.
Gandron had gone so far as to propose that the winner of future contests be chosen at random rather than by merit.
"I had heard from someone else that she planned the change, and I said ‘That’s not right, you don’t penalize a child for reading,'" Casey told the Glen Falls Post-Star.
After waiting for the story to die down, the library's board of trustees decided to let Casey go, ostensibly for her role in the controversy, though the board wouldn't comment on its motives.
"I could not believe it, and I still cannot believe it," Casey said. "I asked why I was being terminated, and I was told the board would not give a reason. I asked [board member Michael Mercure] if I could come down and talk to the board. He went away for a minute, came back and said no."
The Post-Star reported last Friday that Gandron was no longer an employee of the library, but board president Michael Herman refused to say whether she quit or was also fired.
Before leaving the library, Gandron reportedly sent Tyler a letter through the board halfheartedly apologizing "for any confusion or misunderstanding that occurred."
Meanwhile, Casey, who worked exclusively in the library's children's section, said she was "disappointed in the board" and was "going to miss" her job.