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The Board of Directors supports and advances the mission of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL). As ambassadors for CSMCL, board members serve as advisors to the Executive Director; introduce leaders in the library, educational, literary, and business community to CSMCL; and assist with public relations on a national and global level. Members of the board contribute considerable personal and professional talents, contacts, and resources that are invaluable to the advancement of CSMCL.

The Board of Directors Emeritus is composed of former board members who served with distinction and excellence throughout their tenure. We are honored to recognize these leaders and are grateful for their continued support and guidance of our work.

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Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, Ed.D., Executive Director

Dr. Claudette S. McLinn is Founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL). She is a retired Supervisor, Library Services, Nonpublic Schools, for the Los Angeles Unified School District with over 34 years of experience as a teacher, librarian, and administrator in elementary and secondary education. She was the owner of a children's bookstore for over 20 years. She was Adjunct Professor at California State University, Long Beach where she taught graduate courses in children’s literature and young adult literature with a focus on multicultural literature. She was appointed to serve on the California Department of Education’s Recommended Reading Literature List Working Committees 2012, 2008, 2004, and 2001. She has been active in the American Library Association (ALA), including serving on the Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré (as chair), and Caldecott Award Committees. She was an inaugural member of the Kirkus Prize Committee for Young Reader's Literature and judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature. Since 2011, Dr. McLinn created the CSMCL Día Grant with an African America Focus, which is funded by CSMCL in partnership with the ALA/Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) and author Pat Mora, the founder of Children’s Day, Book Day/ El día de los niños, El día de los libros; often known as Día.


She received her Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership and Master of Science degree in School Administration and Management from Pepperdine University. She also received her Master of Science Degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University. She is a member of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology's Board of Visitors at Pepperdine University.


Dr. McLinn chaired the 2022 Caldecott Medal Award Committee and presently serves as Board member of USBBY. As past executive chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and past chair of the Coretta Scott King 50th Anniversary Celebration Planning Committee, she was invited to represent CSK Book Awards at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, and participated on a panel titled, “Black Books Matter.”  She has received numerous awards including the 2014 Dorothy C. McKenzie Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Field of Children's Literature presented by the Children's Literature Council of Southern California; 2015 BCALA Appreciation Award; 2020 recipient of the ALA/Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award; 2022 Charlotte S. Huck Endowed Speaker Award sponsored by the Charlotte S. Huck Foundation, University of Redlands (California); and 2023 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. 

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Dr. Naomi Caldwell, Ph.D.

Dr. Naomi Caldwell (Ramapough Lenape / Munsee Delaware) holds a PhD in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and a MSLS and BS in Education from Clarion University. Dr. Caldwell is associate professor and coordinator of Library Education Media graduate online program at Alabama State University. In addition, Dr. Caldwell serves as an indigenous specialist/ instructional designer consultant for Montana State University, School of Education, School Library Certification grant program. The grant is designed to integrate indigenous perspectives into the school library curriculum. 

She has taught in kindergarten through twelve, graduate education, advised hundreds of graduate students and participated in several doctoral research projects related to diversity. 

Dr. Caldwell is dedicated to the notion that the indigenous perspective is valuable and that the people tell their own stories. 

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Katherine F. Goodwin, Emeritus Board

Katharine Goodwin is a retired K-8 district librarian and middle school language arts teacher. She taught Literature for Children in the Library Media Teacher program for Sacramento State University, has served on the California Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve committee, and was a 2016 recipient of the Margaret Lynch Exemplary Service Award given by The California Reading Association.


She is the author of In Search of Cinderella: A curriculum for the 21st Century. Degrees include a BA and MA from St. Bonaventure University, an MBA from Golden Gate University, as well as teaching and LMT credentials from National University and California State University, Sacramento.

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Dr. Darwin Henderson, Ed.D., Emeritus Board

Dr. Henderson is Professor emeritus of Education at the University of Cincinnati where he holds a joint appointment in Early Childhood Education and Literacy. His research interests lie in 20th century African American writers and illustrators of literature for children and youth. He is a former Chair of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Coretta Scott King Book Awards jury, a member of the Notable Children’s Books Committee, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Committee of ALA’s Association for Library Services Advisory Board. He has served on the board of the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature, at Kent State University.

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Amber Hayes

Amber Hayes has over five years of experience in communications and outreach as well as over three years working in partnership with libraries to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in library institutions. She is passionate about uplifting BIPOC voices and telling an organization's story. Amber is a member of BCALA, PLA, ILA, and ALA as well as a freelance book reviewer for ALA's Booklist. 

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Dr. Sujin B.E. Huggins, Ph.D.

 Dr. Huggins is Professor in the School of Information Studies at Dominican University, River Forest, IL. Among many professional associations, she is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) and the United States Board of Books for Young People (USBBY). Her research interests include children’s literature of the Caribbean with specialization in children’s literature of Trinidad and Tobago. 

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Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada is the Adult Services Assistant Manager at the Palos Verdes Library District in Southern California and the 2022-23 President of the American Library Association. She is a former Executive Director and Past President of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). A former children’s librarian, much of her work focuses on services to youth and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries, librarianship, and her local community.

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Susan Polos

Susan Polos is the middle school librarian at Greenwich Country Day School (Greenwich, CT). She was previously elementary librarian for a dual language public school and then high school librarian in that same district. She is an active member of the American Library Association (ALA), where she has served on the Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Pura Belpré award committees. She is currently chairing the Newbery 100th Anniversary Celebration Task Force. She serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). She is a member of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN), the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), and REFORMA.

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Lettycia Terrones

Lettycia Terrones is a doctoral student in the School of Information Sciences and the Department of Latina/o Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she researches picturebooks and children’s literature by and about Latinx peoples. Lettycia is a student representative of the American Studies Association (ASA), a member of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS), the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) and REFORMA’s Children’s & Young Adult Services Committee (CAYASC). She has served on the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award and Pura Belpé Award committees and currently reviews for The Horn Book Magazine. Her essays appear in the Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, and the book Nerds, Goths, Geeks, and Freaks: Outsiders in Chicanx and Latinx Young Adult Literature, published by the University Press of Mississippi. 

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From Left to Right - 

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, Dr. Sujin B.E. Huggin, and 

Lettycia Terrones presenting at the 2018 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

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