Martin has been a Chief Officer of Derbyshire County Council for the last sixteen years. He is currently Strategic Director of Cultural and Community Services. He started his career as a graduate trainee in Hertfordshire in 1974 before moving to Hampshire County Council in 1981. Martin serves in a variety of professional roles, he is currently President of the Reading Agency and is a member of the Advisory Committees of the Departments of Information Studies and Information Science at the Universities of Sheffield and Loughborough respectively. He is a Visiting Professor at the Department of Information Studies, The University of Sheffield. He was a Champion for the Arts Council's Cultural Leadership Programme. He is past President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a past President of the Society of Chief Librarians, a past member and past Chair of the Advisory Council for Libraries, past Chair of the DCMS Libraries and Adult Learning Steering Group. He was a member of RNIB Advisory Board for Library Services. He is past Chair of the Board of the Reading Agency. In 1998 Martin received a Library Association Royal Charter Centenary Medal and was awarded an OBE in June 2004.