Discussions about books can get heated, passionate and intense. As chair of a YALSA selection committee, your task is to create an environment that allows for the passionate expression and sharing of viewpoints, keep on topic/focus and remain professional. When all viewpoints are considered and respected the product is a quality list, and members enjoy their service and want to keep volunteering!
Think about these meetings needing four components that build upon one another: Getting acquainted, building relationships, addressing issues, and taking action. If the first two are not in place it will be more difficult to address the issues successfully and the final action taken on the list may not be as cohesive. If a little more time is spent on the first two, then there is less likelihood of getting bogged down, personal rants/attacks, etc when the discussion gets heated. If all four components are working the group will feel wonderful and the product will be superb.