The National Library Board (NLB) has banned/removed 3 books after complaints from a member of the public that the books did not promote family values.
”NLB’s collection development policy takes special care of our children’s collections to ensure they are age-appropriate. We take a cautious approach, particularly in books and materials for children. NLB’s understanding of family is consistent with that of the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education,” the statement read.
The removal of the two books has sparked strong responses on social media, including blogposts, Facebook notes and two online petitions.
An open letter written by Ng Yi-sheng, Lim Jialiang, and Liyan Chen called for the NLB to reinstate the two titles and “to exercise prudence in response to complaints in the future”. The letter questioned why the books were removed “without any process for disputation”.
The letter called the removal of the books “irresponsible and unfair to other library users and parents”. It also criticised the NLB for “withdrawing titles from the shelves hastily simply because it offends the sensibilities of some people”.
The Straits Times has learnt that there were at least three more children’s books that were also recently banned.
Written by American author Robie H. Harris, they have to do with sex education and are meant for children aged four and above.
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