Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award To Be Renamed In 2020

May 3, 2019

The Vermont Department of Libraries will be changing the name of the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award.

Jason Broughton, the new state librarian, made the decision to follow through with the name change as recommended by the State Board of Libraries last year. Advocates for the change say the Vermont author for whom the award was named had connections to the eugenics movement of the 1920s and '30s.

Cass Mabbott, the youth services consultant at the Department of Libraries, made the announcement Friday at the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award conference in Barre.

"With his new leadership, we have been able to move forward with considering the name change of our award," Mabbott said. "And we are going to change the name. So we have an official decision."

Her announcement drew applause from the audience of librarians and teachers.

Mabbott said the change will go into effect next year and students will be asked to vote on a new name for the middle-grade book award.

"We hope that this name change will help make all kids feel welcome to be part of the book award program, as well as have agency to be tasked with naming the award," Mabbott said.