So, this came up on Facebook today.
A group calling itself “We are against Pinkdot in Singapore” has one of its members posting an email reply from the National Library Board, which reads:
Thank you for your email. I would like to assure you that NLB takes a strong pro-family stand in selecting books for children. We take a cautious approach in identifying titles for our young visitors. Besides going through the contents, we also refer to synopses, reviews and other books written by the authors.
We have withdrawn the books Tango Makes Three and the White Swan Express following your feedback. We have a collection of more than five million books. While we try to sieve through the contents and exercise our best judgement, it is an arduous task to ensure complete adherence of details in the books to our pro-family stand. However, when library visitors like yourself highlight to us any conflicting content within books, we review such books thoroughly and withdraw them from circulation.
Ms Tay Ai Cheng
Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Librarian
Public Library Services Group
National Library Board.
We don’t know what to make of this, but it sounds like state-enforced censorship, doesn’t it?
Isn’t the library the last place on Earth to restrict or limit access to knowledge?
Anyways, these are the two books that were withdrawn:
A 2005 children’s book written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole. The book is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male Chinstrap Penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo. The book follows the six years of their life when they formed a couple and were given an egg to raise.
A 2002 book with an understated message that families come in all shapes and sizes, and are bound together by love.