Teens & Digital Reading Examined in New Book | School of Information | Kent State University

Teens & Digital Reading Examined in New Book

Marianne Martens Explores 'Publishers, Readers & Digital Engagement'

Marianne Martens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Kent State University School of Library and Information Science, is author of a new book titled Publishers, Readers, and Digital Engagement (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016).

Publishers, Readers, and Digital Engagement demonstrates how the roles of “author,” “marketer,” and “reviewer” are being redefined, as online environments enable new means for young adults to participate in the books they love.

Prior to the expansion of digital technologies around reading, teachers, parents and librarians were the primary gatekeepers responsible for getting books into the hands of young people. Now publishers can create disintermediated digital enclosures in which they can communicate directly with their reading audience. 

This book exposes how teens contribute their immaterial and affective labor as they engage in participatory reading experiences via publishers’ and authors’ interactive websites and use of social media, and how in turn publishers are able to use such labor as they get invaluable market research, peer-to-peer recommendations, and even content which can be used in other projects — all virtually free-of-charge.

Martens, a Kent State SLIS faculty member since 2012, teaches courses in the area of youth services librarianship. Her research connects children’s and youth librarianship and publishing, and stretches from historical perspectives on the interconnected-fields to contemporary studies of how books paired with technology are changing the reading experience for young people. Prior to her academic career, Martens was vice president of North-South Books in New York.

“Marianne Martens’ Publishers, Readers and Digital Engagement offers fresh insights into digital reading through focusing on the role of both traditional and emerging digital gatekeepers. Martens’s case studies capture the complex lifespan of digital reading platforms and reveal the importance of affective labour in contemporary children’s and YA publishing” — Simon Rowberry, University of Stirling, UK.