MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Board of Libraries is recommending changing the name of a children’s book award that now honors a prominent Vermont author and activist accused of once supporting the sterilization of people with severe mental and physical disabilities.
The board says it wants to remove the late Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s name from the award to better match contemporary times and connect with young readers.
Its unanimous recommendation to the state librarian last week came after discussions about Fisher’s association with the eugenics movement.
Fisher’s granddaughter says Fisher’s temporary support for “the sterilization of people with severe mental and physical handicaps” stopped in the early 1930s, when her soon-to-be son-in-law and others convinced her otherwise.
The state librarian did not return a phone message.
The award honors excellence in children’s literature.