Digital Asset Management for Archivists
In today’s media-rich digital landscape, it is becoming increasingly common for organizations to have a digital archivist, digital librarian or digital preservation officer on staff who creates strategies for the immediate use and long-term preservation of the organization’s digital records.
They are tasked with managing digital resources in a way that allows for good arrangement, categorization, and description — while also facilitating access for the appropriate users. When it comes to digital asset management, information professionals traditionally associated with museums and academic institutions are becoming increasingly important in the corporate environment.
If your work involves uploading, categorizing or monitoring the digital records and assets in your workplace, having a DAM system to support you in that process can remove much of the inconvenience and frustration from your work. Partnered with a strong strategy, a digital asset management system saves time, improves efficiency and increases usefulness to your patrons or clients, making it possible for them to obtain the digital assets or records they need quickly and easily. A DAM system with flexible search options makes content easily discoverable — and easily discoverable digital records are obviously more useful to users than content hidden in stacks or file rooms.
A digital asset management system can help you:
- Streamline workflows and consolidate digital files,
- Monitor recently uploaded assets and review them for proper metadata, categories, and tags,
- Manage complex digital records in a way that allows you to arrange, describe and manage access to materials,
- Replace a slow, outdated manual process,
- Improve productivity, and
- Keep your collection of digital records and assets up-to-date and accurate.
Good DAM systems are built to serve a variety of frequent users — like subject specialists, reference staff and management — yet still be intuitive enough for the “casual user.”
In your role as an information professional, workflows and alerts will be your best friend, allowing you to see what other users are uploading, as well as where you can assist through cataloging and categorization in your DAM system. To get a product that best meets your specific needs, investigate DAM solutions that have transformed manual processes into seamless workflows.
In addition, it’s imperative that your digital asset management system has a robust search mechanism. Searching for digital assets, uploading and downloading assets, entering metadata, sharing and analyzing asset activity, all need to be as easy as possible.
Information professionals typically handle a wide range of content types. While you might currently use traditional metadata standards to catalog digital assets like images, videos or other records, you’ve most likely thought about creating unique metadata fields that would help organize your specific type of digital assets for internal and/or external use. A good DAM system facilitates excellent categorization for cataloging.
Utilizing a DAM solution with the ability to quickly create new metadata schemes, or edit existing schemes, means your collection can be used and accessed in ways that are the most beneficial for your organization. Editable metadata schemes also demonstrate that your DAM system can change over time and respond to new user needs.
One of the most basic goals of your work is to ensure the authenticity and digital provenance of digital assets. A DAM system can replace cumbersome and outdated methods that attempted to maintain a file’s intelligibility. With a digital asset management system, assets are securely stored and the associated metadata can easily be exported or used across systems.