How Local Librarians Can Impact the Digtial Asset Management Industry
Local libraries are going digital at the same time organizations are building their own internal digital asset repositories, so who's to say those librarians can't help companies organize it all?

Digtial Repositories are Really Just Libraries

Companies store their digital assets in the same way libraries store their books, the key to both being how they are organized. That's the theory behind the idea information professionals like librarians can help DAM efforts in the enterprise, David Diamond, director of global marketing at Picturepark said in an interview.

Diamond's presentation today at the Internet Librarian conference hopes to convince librarians to make this same connection, and perhaps inspire them to reach out to the DAM community to help out.

"When companies decide they need to implement a digital asset management system, they often start by first selecting the software they need to do it," Diamond said from the conference taking place in Monterey, California. "This is the exact wrong thing to do."


Much of the time, companies dive into the software selection process only to realize they need to hire a consultant to help them actually choose, he said. From there, companies often decide to hire a systems integrator to help them set up their DAM infrastructure, only to have it turn out to be a mess when the content goes in.

"It happens over and over again," Diamond said.

Having access to digital assets is clearly important for businesses of all kinds, but the real challenge lies in making it easy to find the information needed. This means proper taxonomies, naming conventions and definitions that a systems integrator may not have a handle on. That's where the librarians come in.

Librarians Should Reach Out to the DAM Community

DAM implementations can get messy because users simply don't know where to turn for help and then problems persist because no one asks what's wrong, Diamond points out.

"Think of what local librarians do," he said. "They help people find information without it being awkward or asking questions like 'why do you want this information.'"

As a large DAM vendor, Picturepark tries to guide its customers down the adoption path without running into common implementation problems, and that's where Diamond said he sees the opportunity for librarians to help out. Many vendors won't go to the trouble of taking the customer side and ensuring a DAM system is used most efficiently, but Diamond said Picturepark takes the long view of customer relationships.

DAM vendors won't necessarily reach out to information professionals to encourage them to help customers, so Diamond said he is putting the responsibility on the information professionals themselves.

"Make them understand what you do and why it's important," he said. "Companies don't know what it means to organize a collection because they just want a place to store their assets."

Librarians are already spending their time on things like tech support and helping people format documents, Diamond noted, so this would be a good way for them to get back in touch with their information science background. He suggests librarians contact DAM vendors and work with them on helping customers organize their digital asset collections. He suggests contributing a guest blog on a DAM vendor website or connecting on social media as well.

Diamond admitted he didn't quite know how the Internet Librarian conference crowd would respond to his ideas, but we liked his idea about reaching out to librarians for their expertise on organizing a collection.

"DAM is a library if you think about it," Diamond said.

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