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New York librarian fired after defending child who dominated reading contest

A librarian in upstate New York believes she was fired over comments she made in support of a student who dominated a reading competition for five consecutive years, The Post Star reported.

In August, Lita Casey, who worked at the Hudson Falls Free Library for 28 years, called the library's plan to change the rules of "Dig Into Reading" to hurt 9-year-old Tyler Weaver's chances of winning next year's prize "ridiculous," the report said.

The library director at the time, who no longer works there, appeared to criticize the boy and said he "hogs" the contest and ought to "step aside."

"Other kids quit [the reading contest] because they can't keep it up," she told the paper in August.

Casey, for her part, called the rule change "ridiculous."

"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 (the director), but she said it's not a contest, it's the reading club and everybody should get a chance," Casey said at the time, according to the paper.

Casey told the Post Star that she couldn't believe she was fired and asked a library board member why she was fired, and was told the board would not give a reason.

“I worked there for 28 years without a complaint,” she said. “I have to believe it was related to the whole reading controversy.”

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