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Singapore’s public library banned children’s books, not “pro-family”

ASIA / Singapore - Singapore's public library has banned three children's books due to complaints.
EdChron Desk on July 12, 2014 - 8:08 am in Asia, EdNews, World

 

ASIA / Singapore – Singapore’s public library has removed three children’s books from its collection due to complaints.

The three books are And Tango Makes Three, The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption, and Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families. 

Statement from the Library Board

According to the country’s National Library Board (NLB) Facebook post, “…young children are among our libraries’ most frequent visitors. Many of them browse books in our children’s sections on their own. As such, NLB takes a pro-family and cautious approach in identifying titles for our young visitors. ”

NLB 1

According to The Straits Times, “Ms Jasna Dhansukhlal, assistant director of NLB’s public library services, said the books will go through a “discarding process” where they will be pulped.”

Singapore Government weighs in

The Communications and Information minister has also weigh in on the controversy. Mr Yaacob Ibrahim said in his Facebook post he adds “NLB’s decision was guided by community norms…this approach is shared between all public agencies dealing with the education and care of young Singaporeans.”

Yaacob Ibrahim FB Post

Online discourse and discussion indicates public opinion is split between supporting the pro-family stand to protect young minds and the right to read and expose children to realities of today’s varied types of family nucleus. The books have had their fair share of controversy in America. And Tango Makes Three was the most challenged book in 2006 to 2010, except for 2009 when it was the second most challenged, according to the American Library Association. The book has also won several awards.

While Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families written by New York Times best-selling author Robie H. Harris has generally positive reviews globallyand The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption have also garnered some controversy and reviews from both sides of the fences.

It has been reported local authors have pulled out of the Library Board’s events in show of their unhappiness over the NLB’s decision.

EdChron.com has written to the publishers of the three books for comments.

 

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