Marianne Martens, Ph.D., an iSchool faculty member since 2012, teaches courses in the area of youth services librarianship. She has designed multiple courses at Kent State including Art and Story: The Study of Picturebook Art (LIS 60627), Youth Literature in the Digital Realm (LIS 60675), Critical Theory and Children’s Literature (LIS 61095), and International Children’s Literature and Librarianship (LIS 61905). Recently, she has co-designed the course, “The Real World” Cuba: Examining Gen Z Pop Culture Across Borders (CCI 51095) with Wendy Wardell from Kent State's School of Media and Journalism. She has served as a Doctoral Committee advisor, a Master’s Thesis Committee Member (2015), and frequently as a Doctoral Committee Member. In 2020, Martens received the Mothers, Mentors, and Muses Award from Kent State University’s Women’s Center in recognition for those who have been significantly instrumental in the lives of students and colleagues, and who exemplifies the role of mother, mentor, and/or muse.
Martens' research examines the interconnected fields of young people’s literacy, youth services librarianship, and publishing for young people--from historical perspectives, to a focus on Digital Youth. She is the author of Publishers, Readers and Digital Engagement: Participatory Forums and Young Adult Publishing (Palgrave Macmillan). She presented a Tedx Talk at KSU on her research on the Harry Potter Fandom in 2017 and has published The Forever Fandom of Harry Potter: Balancing Fan Agency and Corporate Control (Cambridge University Press). Notably, Martens serves as Kent State University’s principal investigator on a USAID grant with American University of Nigeria, and Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development, that works to improve literacy in Northeast Nigeria. She also serves as Co-Pi on two grants with Dr. Katie Campana on a library-preschool project in Northeast Ohio. In addition, after receiving a $10,000 grant from CCI, Martens has worked with Dr. Rinnert to design an early literacy app, Energetic Alpha. The app was a finalist for the best game design at the European Conference on Games Based Learning in October 2019. Martens has been invited to speak around the world. In 2020, she gave a keynote presentation for The Russian State Library for Young Adults as well as an invited lecture at the Seminar on Library Services for Children and Young Adults in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the National Library of Korea.
Before coming to the iSchool, Martens taught at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, while pursuing her Ph.D. in library and information science. Previously, she served as the Carole Barham Scholar at The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers, and worked as a children's librarian in New Jersey. Prior to her academic career, Martens was vice president of a small, international publishing company called North-South Books in New York. Martens is fluent in English, Danish, German, Spanish and French, and has translated more than 100 children’s books into English.
*The School of Information faculty are superstars in the field. Therefore, it is impossible to list all of the great work they do on one page. Listed below is a small selection of recent work. Further information about her work can be viewed in Dr. Martens’ CV (found below), on her Google Scholar page, on ResearchGate, or on her personal website.
Campana, K., Martens, M., Filippi, A. & Clunis, J. (2020). A library school: Building a collaborative preschool-library partnership to support whole family engagement. Early Childhood Education Journal.
Martens, M., Hajibayova, L., Campana, K., Rinnert, G. C., Caniglia, J., Bakori Isa, G., Kamiyama, K., Liman, A., Mupinga, D. M., & Oh, J. (2020). Being on the wrong side of the digital divide: Seeking technological interventions for education in Northeast Nigeria. Aslib Journal of Information Management. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-05-2020-0172
Martens, M. (2019, June). The forever fandom of Harry Potter: Balancing fan agency and corporate control. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1108469883 https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108599092
Martens, M., Rinnert, G. C., & Andersen, C. (2018, December). Child-Centered design: Developing an inclusive letter writing app. Frontiers in Psychology. (Special edition on Human Computer Interaction: Interactive Digital Technologies and Early Childhood). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02277
Martens, M. (2016, July). Publishers, readers, and digital engagement: Participatory forums and young adult publishing. Palgrave, Macmillan as part of the New Directions in Book History Series. ISBN: 9781137514455 https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-51446-2
Martens serves as Kent State University's Principal Investigator on SENSE, a collaborative project that works to improve literacy in Northeast Nigeria, USAID Grant (with a team from KSU, Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Development, and American University Nigeria), $13.3 million ($3,907,103 Kent State’s sub-award), awarded 2019. Learn more: https://www.sense-activity.org/about
Co-Investigator on “Leveling the Playing Field: An Affordable Universal Pre-School in Maple Heights Library” (with Principal Investigator, Dr. Campana, KSU), Research and Creative Activity Fund (RACAF), $19,535, awarded 2019; Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), $4,999, awarded 2019
Co-Investigator on “Animated Alphabet App” to design an early literacy app (with Principal Investigator, Dr. Rinnert, and Dr. Mooney, KSU), CCI: Seed Grant, $10,000, awarded 2015
Mothers, Mentors, and Muses Award. (2020). Kent State University Women’s Center. This award recognizes those who have been significantly instrumental in the lives of students and colleagues, and who exemplifies the role of mother, mentor, and/or muse.
Finalist for the best game design at the European Conference on Games Based Learning for Energetic Alpha (with Dr. Rinnert, KSU), October 2019, Odense, Denmark.
Faculty Recognition Award, Kent State University, University Teaching Council, 2016
American Library Association (ALA), Member (2004 - Present)
Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), Member (2004 - Present)
Young Adult Services Association (YALSA), Member (2004 - Present)
Library History Round Table (LHRT), Member (2004 - Present)
Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), Member (2012 - Present)
International Federation for Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Member (2017 - Present)
International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL), Member (2012 - Present)
Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), Member (2010 - Present)
United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), Member (2002 - 2020)
Ph.D. with a Major in Library and Information Science and a Minor in Media Studies from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, M.L.I.S. from the University of Illinois, B.A. in German Studies from Vassar College