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FreePint BlogThe role of digital librarians in Digital Asset Management

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By Deb Hunt


When clients contact Information Edge to help them get a handle on their organisational assets, they are usually at a point of feeling crushed under an avalanche of information. What I have learned is that information professionals can bring some very valuable expertise to any DAM project.


When clients contact Information Edge to help them get a handle on their organisational assets, they are usually at a point of feeling crushed under an avalanche of information. Their IT staff are overwhelmed and realise they cannot provide the information organisation needed.

Sadly, I do not tell most of my clients up front that I have a Masters in Library Science degree as I find that limits their perception of what I bring to the table and how Information Edge can empower them to re-find and reuse their content. Despite the fact that my skill set proves highly valuable in digital asset management projects, I usually wait until I'm well into a project before I tell them. They are often shocked to learn this.

Digital librarians bring distinct skills to DAM projects:

  • An understanding of audiences: who they are, what they look for and how.
  • Expertise in building metadata schemas and taxonomies.
  • Recognising the business value that finding information brings to an organisation.
  • Experience creating IP policies that address copyright issues.
  • Experience and expertise organising assets of all kinds and knowing that you get out of a record what you put into it.
  • Knowing how to organise information and assets for findability.
  • Generally they are viewed as neutral, working for the good of the entire organisation.
  • Having a big picture view
    • Can contribute to workflow strategies
    • Able to prioritise what needs to be indexed first and why.
  • Knowing to start small and let the success of a DAM project speak for itself.

When I started doing DAM, IT folks doubted my expertise and the value I brought to projects. Now, they welcome me with open arms, knowing I bring to the table skills and expertise they may not have. As a team, we provide the solutions our clients need.

Digital librarians are working hard to reshape the librarian stereotype with the deep expertise and value they bring to DAM and other projects. They make sure one’s DAM house is in order.


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Deb Hunt is principal of Information Edge, which specialises in enterprise, document and digital asset management, knowledge services, research and analysis, and library design and automation. In addition to her MLS, Deb is a certified Enterprise Content Management Practitioner (ECMp). Deb is SLA's 2012 President-Elect. She can be found on Twitter @debhunt6 and on her blog.

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