More Local Bilingual Books for Children and Support for Writers of Mother Tongue Language Materials

Published Date: 27 September 2022 04:00 PM

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Three-year strategic collaboration between National Library Board and Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism will grow awareness, and enhance access and content for mother tongue language resources

The National Library Board (NLB) and the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism (LKYFB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to provide more Mother Tongue Language (MTL) resources and programmes to promote bilingualism from a young age, and grow the pool of local MTL writers.

Children and their parents, along with educators, can look forward to more books, including eBooks, in various mother tongue languages by local writers. To mark the start of this partnership, NLB will add to its collection ten new titles translated from English to Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Patrons can start borrowing these titles through the NLB Mobile app ( from 27 September 2022 and at any of NLB's public libraries from 31 October 2022. More titles will also be added over the next few years.

Under the MOU, LKYFB will provide grants to convert print books that it had earlier supported to eBooks, which can be accessed by the public via NLB's mobile app and at upcoming physical and digital storytelling sessions from January 2023.

[Please refer to Annex A for more details on the titles.]

Local writers who produce works for children in Chinese, Malay and Tamil can also expect more support through the MOU. NLB and LKYFB will work on building an ecosystem of support for local MTL writers to help them create and contribute works which will enhance the discovery of the mother tongue languages and the respective cultural heritage. NLB will host book launches and incorporate these books in its programmes and outreach activities. Interested writers can reach out to for more information on the support.

NLB Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Archives and Libraries Group), Ms Catherine Lau, said: "Our partnership with the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism will help to grow our Singapore collection and nurture a pool of writers of such works. In turn, this will grow the Learning Marketplace for all to read, discover and learn about our multi-cultural heritage and culture."

The Learning Marketplace aims to be a national platform for lifelong learning, and is one of four roles under NLB's LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025). The other roles are Singapore Storytellers, Informed Citizenry, and Equaliser. More details about LAB25 can be found here (

LKYFB's Board Member, Chair of Publicity, Outreach and Resource Panel, Mr Lim Jim Koon, said: "The early years are important for a child to develop a strong foundation in language learning. This collaboration with NLB will allow us to expand the reach of MTL and bilingual books supported by the LKYFB to more children and their parents, to promote a love for language learning from a young age."



About National Library Board

The National Library Board (NLB) nurtures Readers for Life, Learning Communities and a Knowledgeable Nation by promoting reading, learning and history through its network of 28 libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB also forges strategic partnerships that encourage awareness, appreciation and greater discovery of Singapore's history through its rich collections on Singapore and the region.

NLB achieves excellence through innovation, focusing on citizen engagement and co-creation, resource and digital innovation. This creates learning opportunities, greater access to library resources, services and archival collections, as well as a continual development of innovative library spaces. Established on 1 September 1995 as a statutory board, NLB is under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

For more information, please visit the NLB website, and NLB's Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube channels.

About Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism

The Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism was incepted at the launch of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's book "My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey" on 28 November 2011. Established to supplement efforts by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in the teaching and learning of English and the Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs), the Fund supports proposals that encourage bilingualism and the learning of MTLs as a living language and lifelong endeavour. The Fund is set up as a company limited by guarantee, with Charity and Institution of Public Character status.

For more information, please visit the LKYFB website, and LKYFB's Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channel.

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