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Saturday, Jul 26, 2014


More balanced approach to controversial library books

The Straits Times | Saturday, Jul 26, 2014

THE National Library Board's (NLB) recent decision to withdraw certain children's titles was regrettable.

Instead of merely placing the books in the adult section ("Yaacob tells NLB to put barred titles back on shelves"; last Saturday), where they can still be accessed by children, the NLB ought to consider another approach.

Any controversial books deemed unsuitable for public consumption, particularly for children or young people, should be tagged as "restricted" material.

They should be placed in a special area in the adult section.

These titles cannot be loaned out using the automated kiosks. Instead, those who want to borrow them have to approach library staff at the counter and show proof of their age.

This would prevent children from borrowing these books.

This approach strikes a balance between providing unrestricted flow of information and safeguarding the interests of children.

Teo Kok Seah

This article was first published on July 24, 2014.
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