National Library Board CEO Elaine Ng says it has found a “means and method” to put controversial children’s books in the adult section of the library: CNA

The National Library Board (NLB) will move the children’s titles that have been the subject of recent controversy to the adult’s section, and plans to create “more transparent review processes” for its books, CEO Elaine Ng said on Friday (July 18). The announcement follows instructions from Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim to reinstate the books in a separate section.

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Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information has also instructed the National Library Board to review their processes for dealing with such titles: CNA

Two books pulled off the shelves of the library’s children’s section will not be pulped, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim told the Straits Times. Instead, they will be moved to the adult section.

The National Library Board (NLB) should have held discussion before destroying books, says Suchen Christine Lim at the 7th annual gathering of AP Writers and Translators in Singapore: CNA

SuchenLocal writer Suchen Christine Lim on Thursday (July 17) spoke out against the National Library Board’s (NLB) recent decision to withdraw and pulp three children’s titles deemed as not pro-family.

No public institution should destroy books, especially on family, without discussion, she said, adding that she was “dismayed, disappointed and angry beyond words”.

A reading event organised by two mothers who disapproved of the NLB’s move to remove three children’s books was held on Sunday. Meanwhile, more than 25,000 signatures have been garnered for an online letter supporting NLB’s decision: CNA

A reading event organised by two mothers who disapproved of the National Library Board’s (NLB) move to remove three children’s books was held at the National Library’s atrium on Sunday afternoon (July 13).

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim listed three reasons explaining NLB’s decision to pull the three children’s books for not being “pro-family”: Channel News Asia

NLBCommunications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim on Friday (July 11) wrote a Facebook post explaining the Government’s approach with regard to the National Library Board’s (NLB) decision to withdraw three books for not being “pro-family”. He said NLB’s decision was based on “community norms”.

He clarified that the withdrawal of the books was not based on a single complaint, without an attempt to asses its merit. “NLB has a process where its officers carefully consider such feedback, before making a decision,” he wrote.

Dr Yaacob also stated that “NLB is not deciding what books children can or cannot read. That decision remains with the parents, as it always has been.”

Below is his full post on Facebook:

Tan Twan Eng-The Garden of Evening MistsHere is one more author to join the bandwagon against the book pulping decision by the NLB Singapore.

Booker Prize shortlisted writer Tan Twan Eng has written an open letter to the National Library Board of Singapore in this regard:

Hello Fellow Readers and Book-Lovers,

Sometime in 2010 the National Library Board of Singapore (‘NLB’) requested my permission to excerpt 10 pages of The Gift of Rain for an anthology the NLB was planning to publish with the editorial expertise of a panel of leading academics from Singapore and South East Asia. I was, naturally, honoured to be asked, and I gave my permission.

PenguinWriters in Singapore have gone on a verbal offensive (and launched petitions) against the decision of the National Library Board (NLB) to pull out and “pulp” three controversial children’s books. NLB decided to take this step after a pro-family group in Singapore complained to the library about these titles that were supposedly anti-family.

The three titles are And Tango Makes Three, The White Swan Express and Who’s In My Family?

Here are reactions from some prominent writers of the city state who have spoken on the matter on their Facebook pages or have shared their thoughts with the media:

NgYishengNg Yi-Sheng, Poet

“They could have chosen a compromise solution, such as putting the books in Adult Lending, or even the Reference Section. They didn’t. Don’t think they won’t do the same again.”

 

cyril wongCyril Wong, Poet

“As a queer writer, I think I have reached a limit of some sort, in the light or dark of recent events. I don’t know why I’m bothering anymore. By sometime next year, I’m just going to stop; yes, stop publishing, stop working with governmental organisations, even stop writing.”