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Marianne Martens Joins Kent State SLIS Faculty

Posted Sep. 10, 2012

Marianne Martens, Ph.D., has joined the faculty of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University. As an assistant professor, Martens will teach and conduct research in youth services librarianship, an area for which SLIS at Kent State is ranked 13th in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Martens_HeadShotSince 2007, Martens has taught at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, while working on a Ph.D. in library and information science. Also at Rutgers, she assisted in launching an interdisciplinary minor in Digital Communication, Information, and Media studies, which involved developing courses and overseeing their instruction, marketing the program, scheduling classes, and also teaching three of the six classes in the minor. Previously, Martens had served as Carole Barham Scholar at The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers, where she participated in research including a major study on the state of school library media centers in New Jersey. In 2007, she worked as a children's librarian at Long Hill Township Library in New Jersey.

Prior to launching her academic career, Martens worked in publishing in New York: first at Facts On File; then at Brockman, Inc.; and later as vice president at a small, independent children's publishing company called North-South Books, Inc. She has also done freelance library marketing for Bloomsbury USA. Martens is fluent in English, Danish, German, Spanish and French, and has translated more than 100 picture and chapter books. She regularly reads, reviews, and writes sample translations of books in foreign languages for a variety of children's publishers, including Scholastic, Random House, Little, Brown, and others.

Martens' interdisciplinary research at the intersection of publishing and librarianship is grounded in Library and Information Science and Media Studies, and focuses on how digital technologies are changing books and the reading experience for young people. It converges around the producers, disseminators, and readers in the field of production of children's literature as follows: 1) new literary formats which incorporate technology and enable participation via users' affective and immaterial labor, user-generated content and "remix" books, as well as the multi-literacies required to interpret non-linear, multimodal, digital-age books; 2) publishing for young readers, genre construction and the commodification of books and those who read them, international children's literature, and transnational publishing; 3) youth services librarianship, reviews, awards, the literary canon and the arbiters of taste who construct it; 4) children's information seeking behavior in everyday settings; and 5) the establishment of gendered professions within publishing, librarianship, and in reading as a gendered activity.  Martens has published several peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter, and delivered presentations nationally and internationally on these subjects.

Her professional affiliations include: the American Library Association's Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), for which she has served as chair of the Melcher and Bound-to-Stay-Bound scholarship committee, co-chair and committee member for the Special Collections and Louise Seamen Bechtel Committee; committee member for the International Relations Committee; Young Adult Services Association (YALSA); and Library History Round Table (LHRT). She also is a member of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE); the National Communication Association (NCA); the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP); and the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) for which she has served on the executive board, on the nominating committee, and on the special projects committee. Committed to international literature for young people, in 2002 and 2004, Martens served as the U.S. juror for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal.

In addition to earning her Ph.D. from Rutgers, Martens holds a B.A. in German studies from Vassar College and an M.L.I.S. degree from the University of Illinois' Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS).

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University has the only American Library Association-accredited Master of Library and Information Science degree program in Ohio, offering courses in Kent, Columbus (State Library of Ohio) and through a fully online option. SLIS also offers a Master of Science in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) and participates in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the College of Communication and Information. The school is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation's top 20 LIS graduate programs. It is one of the largest library schools in the country, with more than 650 students enrolled.  For more information, visit www.kent.edu/slis.

Media contact:
Flo Cunningham
330-672-0003
fcunning@kent.edu