Friend: Good, there were the usual discussions, some people made compromise others refused until it was pointed out that I just compromised on two of my top choices and perhaps they should also work with the group.
Knowing looks were exchanged. We've all worked and perhaps on more than one occasion perhaps been that individual. After a moment of silence she divulged the rest of her story. "Every time a book had ANYTHING that may be questionable, even little things, the others almost off handedly said no." "It will be challenged!", "It's not appropriate for this age group.", on and on until a vote was taken and the book was crossed off the list.
When, as a profession, did we regulate the books our students would have access to? We sort, we level (sometimes), we catalogue, and occasionally we steer the high flying 5th grade students away from Game of Thrones towards towards more content appropriate YA titles such as Falling Kingdoms or The Young Elites. But is this a choice that I can make? Am I censoring what my students read? When is it ok to to say yes? No? And, is there even a correct answer to these questions?
Historically speaking I tend to go with my gut. If I'm familiar with the student, their previous reading choices, and maturity I can usually find something they will enjoy at their age level. However, if the students continue to push and insist on reading THIS book is it really my place to tell them no? (Game of thrones is a bad example as most elementary school libraries would not have this book series in their collection, however, public libraries would.) Could i say no? Are their policies in place in my library, school or public, that answers these questions? I don't know.