NLB chose to err on the side of caution

Go left or right, you get shelled either way. That's the current "predicament" the National Library Board (NLB) has found itself in with regards to the removal of children's books perceived as containing themes aligned with homosexuality. Netizen missjs feels NLB's actions were made with the best intentions of the general public in mind, and explains her viewpoint thoroughly:

"LGBT children's picture books are so beautifully written, illustrations enticing enough for kids to pick up from the lower shelves, undertones so romanticised and artfully embedded within imageries that only a mature reader can pick out the nuances. Those who do not possess "literary skills" might just read it like an ordinary story book.

For parents who believe that LGBT books should be made freely available in the Children's section, I hope they truly understand what it means to be gay, what it means to lead a LGBT lifestyle and what it means to have a child living with his gay parents who lead such lifestyles. It's quite different from what we see on the streets, in art films screened in art houses, in LGBT promotional videos about universal this part of the world, we hardly get to see their "closet" behaviour in public, due to certain "checks" imposed by the Government. But if you've been to San Francisco, London, Tokyo or some other more liberal cities, you might have seen them exhibiting alternative intimate behaviour in public, or stumbled upon graphic pornographic materials at newsstands or semi-censored (pixelated genitals) gay sex movies on certain late night tv channels.

If you had and can condone/accept that it's another form of lifestyle, then good on you. You are able to discern what is an alternative sexual lifestyle vs a natural one, and would therefore be in a sensibly suitable position to supervise the reading of LGBT books to/with your 3-7 year olds, that of which should be your informed choice as a responsible parent.

But not every parent is able to. Not everyone can distinguish between the alternative vs norm, or read between the lines like a sharp book critic. And not everyone has the time to vet all the story books the kid picks up from the library, especially during school holidays when the NLB loan quota increases dramatically. The important thing is NLB recognises that there are different types of borrowers. That's why to err on the side of caution, they chose to remove the said books from the Children's section. The Government has not banned the books from Singapore just to be clear. Interested parents can still purchase them online. It's their personal choice and neither the Government nor NLB will interfere with their reading preferences."


The Czar (Site Founder)

Dated 18 July 2014


It begins with three books

As the child of a single parent, I object to the arguments of Jaxe's Pan online note to Yaacob Ibrahim

Reading books: our children live in different times