Award to drop name of author tied to sterilization movement

May 06, 2019 - 11:06 am

BARRE, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Department of Libraries says it is changing the name of a children's book award that honors a prominent author and activist accused of once being connected to a movement that led to the sterilization of people with severe mental and physical disabilities.

The State Board of Libraries last year recommended that the late Dorothy Canfield Fisher's name be removed to better match contemporary times and connect with young readers.

The recommendation came after discussions about Fisher's association with the eugenics movement of the 1920s and '30s.

Vermont Public Radio reports that Jason Broughton, Vermont's new state librarian, is following the board's recommendation.

The change will happen next year.

Fisher's granddaughter has said the author's temporary support for the eugenics movement stopped in the early 1930s, when her soon-to-be son-in-law and others convinced her otherwise.

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