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NLB GETS SOME 20 COMPLAINTS ABOUT BOOK TITLES A YEAR

When someone complains about a book, librarians from NLB's 24 branches and the senior management of Public Libraries will discuss the complaint and also look at trade journals and book reviews.

Ms Jasna Dhansukhlal (above), NLB's assistant director of library services and management, said it receives about 20 complaints about book titles every year and they are not always about children's books.

But she was unable to answer several questions from the media during the press conference at the children's section of Toa Payoh Public Library yesterday.

Asked how many books had been removed so far, she said: "I don't have the figure offhand."

Besides being pro-family, what other stands does the library take? What about books on violence and terrorism?

Ms Jasna said: "I don't think we are taking any stand here. We are just here to talk about the children's collection..."

A spokesman for the NLB later clarified in an e-mail to The New Paper that three books, And Tango Makes Three, The White Swan Express and Who Is In My Family were the three children's books removed this year. She also said the NLB removes less than a third of the 20 requests it gets yearly. And Tango makes Three, which was published in 2005, has also stirred controversy in the US.

The NLB spokesman clarified that its two copies of the book came in a few months ago.

"Not long after they came, they surfaced during our regular reviews by the librarians. Hence, the parent's feedback on these books was in line with our own concerns, and NLB removed the books," she said.