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Many unaware of NLB's decision to remove controversial children's books: Poll

Those who have been following the debate had divided opinions, with 45% supporting NLB’s move, 28% disagreeing, and 23% maintaining neutrality on the issue.

SINGAPORE: Despite recent controversy surrounding the National Library Board's (NLB) decision to to remove three children's titles from public libraries, a poll by REACH shows that 4 in 10 Singaporeans are not aware of the issue. The Government feedback portal announced the results of the survey of 843 Singapore residents on Friday (July 18).

The books had been pulled because they had depictions of family that did not conform to community norms. REACH found that those who have been following the debate had divided opinions, with 45 per cent supporting NLB's move, 28 per cent disagreeing, and 23 per cent staying neutral.

The poll also found out that 52% of Singaporeans agree that books promoting values that are not in line with traditional family values should not be made available in the children's section of public libraries. Of the remainder, 21% disagreed and 23% were neutral.

"The poll results remind us that there are still issues that are divisive and can fracture us as a country," said Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower and REACH Chairman, Dr Amy Khor.

"It is therefore important not to let these divisions deepen and tear us apart. In the interest of all Singaporeans and future generations, let us discuss this rationally and find a common ground that we can agree on."

The NLB has since announced that it will reinstate two of the withdrawn children's titles in the adult's section. Its CEO stressed that the initial decision to pull the books was to ensure that the children's section of the library, remains age-appropriate. 

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