BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, Ed.D., Executive Director
Dr. Claudette S. McLinn is the 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 a 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.
Dr. Naomi Caldwell, Ph.D.
Dr. Naomi R. Caldwell is an enrolled Ramapough Lenape Munsee Nation member. She is known for critically reviewing books about indigenous people for youth. Naomi served as the founding chair of the American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award. She holds a master’s in Library Science from Clarion University and a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2023, she completed a master’s degree in Instructional Design from Western Governors University. Dr. Caldwell has experience as a university professor teaching school librarianship at the University of Rhode Island, Alabama State University, and currently as an adjunct for Montana State University, Bozeman. Her library experience includes serving as a collection development librarian at the New Zealand National Library, where she selected materials for school libraries. In middle and high school, Naomi was a school librarian in the Providence Public School system. Naomi has reviewed children’s books for School Library Journal, School Connection, and Hornbook. She likes to travel, create indigenous clothing, and learn new technology for fun.
Jason Driver is the Executive Director of Kitsap Regional Library in Western Washington. He previously worked as a District Chief, Branch Manager, Early Literacy Specialist, and Children's Librarian at the Chicago Public Library. As Early Literacy Specialist for Chicago Public Library, Jason coordinated early literacy initiatives and early literacy programming for Chicago's 81 neighborhood libraries. He was librarian of the year in 2014 at Chicago Public Library, served on the Obama Library task force for the development of a Chicago Public Library branch on the Obama Presidential Library Campus, assisted in the implementation of one of the first library Human Centered Design development teams, and assisted in the development of system-wide onboarding development of new staff. Jason is passionate about diverse literature and loves public service. He has served as past jury chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and co-chaired the Library Services Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee. He is the current co-chair of the Charlemae Hill Rollins President's Program Jason received his MLIS from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and his B.S. in Psychology from Illinois State University.
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.
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.
Amber Hayes is the Communications Coordinator at Skokie (IL) Public Library. She 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.
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.
Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada
Lessa Kananiʻopua Pelayo-Lozada is the Adult Services Assistant Manager at the Palos Verdes Library District in Southern California and served as the 2022-23 President of the American Library Association. She was the Executive Director and is a 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.
Susan Polos is the middle school librarian at Greenwich Country Day School (Greenwich, CT). She has served on the Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Pura Belpré book award juries. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), is a co-chair of the Breakfast Committee for the Children's Literature Assembly, and is a member of the Archives and History Committee of the Coretta Scott King Book Award Community.
Lettycia Terrones is the Librarian for Ethnic Studies, Latin American Studies, Honors College, and EOP at California State University, Los Angeles. Lettycia’s academic training and research areas include Chicanx Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, Information Studies, and Children’s Literature. She holds the following degrees: BA in English (UC Berkeley, 1998), Master of Library and Information Science (UCLA, 2008), and is a current Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lettycia’s dissertation, A Chicana’s Imaginary of the Picturebook investigates the aesthetics and theoretics at play in the works of contemporary Chicanx picture books.
Lettycia’s peer-reviewed essays and public scholarship appear in the Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, Label Me Latina/o, The ALAN Review, The Horn Book Magazine, Latinx in KidLit, and in the books Nerds, Goths, Geeks, and Freaks: Outsiders in Chicanx and Latinx Young Adult Literature, Voices of Resistance: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Chican@ Children's Literature, and Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children: Their Words, Their Worlds, and Supporting Your Hispanic Students in Academic Libraries (forthcoming). Lettycia serves on the board of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature and is an active member of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social. Lettycia has served on the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury (2021-2023), The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award (2018-2019), and the Pura Belpré Book Award (2017).
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