Monday, September 2, 2013
Real truth behind shocking Library reading program story!
"Why," no one ever asks "does your blog never include outrage inducing stories that turn out to be totally deceptive and misleading?"
I love this question. Say more!
"Well, I read your blog and never walk away with a sense of fury about how terrible the world is and a desire to share my now totally confused, frothing misconceptions of reality in a viral way that will have the whole Library world talking about YOUR BLOG!"
You don't? Crap.
Well, thank you for your input. I try to be misleading but truth keeps leaking out like blood from a bad wound. And so I am consigned to be me, and you are consigned to being you. We must try and make peace with it.
But wait! Don't leave! I have a story the Library world is up in arms about! I will tell it more roughly, sort of, vaguely, as it was told to me by a co-worker. Good story, good co-worker, and if all the details turn out to be not exactly true it is all probably vastly more true than anything you can find about it anywhere else in the world. It will enrage you! You will go insane!
So, in Hudson Falls, NY, a kid in the Library there has won the reading contest at his local Library five times in a row now. Do you know this one? Well, it's true, He read more books than any other kid to take the prize five years running. Publicity spread about this because it is an amazing, once in a lifetime story. Oops, no, it isn't. I think the closest we can get to "once in a lifetime story" is that if his grandmother is around she was probably politely interested. The librarian over there was contacted about this five time winner by a reporter for reasons no one will ever know because it bears no relation whatsoever to news. So the librarian said something about the kid dominating the contest and how it was discouraging the other readers. I believe she used some variation of the ill-advised word "hogging" and said something about switching to a drawing. The mistake here is the "hogging" thing. And there's a good chance there is something about the librarian hating the kid's mother, but unlike the hard facts I have been presenting, the hate part is just super perceptive speculation. Anyway, the pro and anti competitive reading sections of the internet went nuts over this and local news teams (the real villains in most news stories like this, keep your eye on the ball) went into high gear. They interviewed left and right, found dissenting opinions in that very library and puffed desperately on the super tiny flames. Fights raged across the internet, and many scoffing, hypothetical accounts of young, competitive athletes being asked to lose, just because they won too much, were invoked until the fires burned out of control. Everyone pretended to be sensible the whole time, even me.
Finally, as Fox news covered this wild controversy that shook the foundations of competitive bulk reading among children, the kid was asked what he thought.
"I don't see what the big deal is." He said. "The prize was a T-shirt."