About Me

I’m Elise Martinez and I’m the Teen Services Specialist at the Zion-Benton Public Library in the north Chicago suburb area. I have been working with teens in public libraries for two years. During this time I have been able to co-create a teen services department from scratch into a department of three and implement a programming and services model for our department. I am passionate about enhancing connected learning within libraries, turning teens into creators, and focusing on expanding the technology literacy of the teens that I serve.


  • Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature with a specialization in Creative Writing from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 
  • Completed a 2-week course on Teen Services Fundamentals with Infopeople.
  • Completed a 4-week course on Collaborating with Teens to Build Better Library Programs with the American Library Association. 
  • LACONI-RASS Strategic Planning for Teens

 Teen Services

  • Full-time program coordinator for teens and tweens. 
  • Created focus group to measure need for a teen room at the Zion-Benton Public Library. This initiative, in conjunction with our director’s support, led to the planning, creation, and implementation of a new teen room, The Hive, for the teens in the Zion-Benton community. 
  • Three-time recipient of the Illinois State Library’s Project Next Generation grant (2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017). 

Professional Development:

  • Member of American Library Association (ALA) and Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
  • Blogger for YALSA’s YALSAblog

But enough with the formal stuff! Here’s a little more about me:

Delights in: literature. tea. traveling. creating. designing. Francophilia. Doctor Who. cheese. black and white. healthy living. reading. writing. thinking. cooking. sushi. passionate people. self-started research.
Dislikes: elevators. overly cynical people. closed mindedness. stubbornness. snakes. people touching my feet. talking on the phone. people who laugh at enthusiasm. talking about money. slow drivers.


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