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Board Recommends Removing Author's Name From Book Award

Canfield Award logo
Vermont Department of Libraries

The Vermont Board of Libraries has recommended that the name of a prominent Vermont author, activist and pioneering education supporter be removed from a children's book award program.
The unanimous recommendation to the state librarian came after multiple discussions about the late Dorothy Canfield Fisher's association with the state's 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.

Vermont became the 27th state to pass a sterilization law in 1931.

Last week, the board voted unanimously to recommend that the book award be renamed to better match contemporary times. The state librarian has not returned a phone message seeking comment.

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