DAM Champ: Lexy Spry

DAM champ: Someone who supports finding, setting up, or maintaining a digital asset management system (DAM). There is a big variety of DAM champions, who come from positions in production, creative, management, IT, and marketing.

This week’s DAM champ LexLexy Spry DAM champy Spry is a global administrator. Actually, she’s one of three global admins who manage a corporate system. The team meets weekly and rotates duties on a monthly basis, monitoring and correcting metadata, responding to user requests, and working on their current big project — a system cleanup.

You can follow Spry on LinkedIn.

Can you talk about your background and how you go into managing digital assets?

I attended grad school for information science.  In grad school, I knew I didn’t want to work in a public library or typical academic setting, though.  After graduation, I started work as a knowledge manager at a university, and I learned about the broader information management field, too.

How did find out about DAM systems as a way to deal with digital assets?

I knew they existed during my work as a knowledge manager.  I worked with a few graphic designers, and they didn’t like the software we used for knowledge management, so I had to learn about software that would suit their needs.

Why is digital asset management is important?

It saves time and effort.  Imagine going to a public library and asking for a book about gardening.  The librarian says “We don’t have that, but I can write it for you.  Come back in a year or so.”  Digital asset management means people don’t have to waste time recreating work and it means that they can re-use parts of extant work.  

To continue with the book metaphor, imagine if you had to email the book’s author if you wanted to know when the book was written, and who published it, and who illustrated it!  Luckily libraries have harnessed metadata and stored that information in a central location.  It’s the same with DAM: people who need to know more information about a file don’t have to dig around looking for it.

What is the best thing about DAM?

24/7 access and metadata.

How do you like being part of a DAM admin team?

We are doing a DAM cleanup right now and I appreciate that my fellow admin can help with the mundane tasks like batch editing.  It’s challenging sometimes, though!  Each of us brings different experiences to the table, and we all have slightly divergent ideas about how to rebuild the foundation of our site — and there are no right answers.

What is your biggest challenge as a DAM champ?

Convincing people to take always the extra step and share files via the DAM, instead of taking a shortcut and using Google Drive or — horrors! — attaching assets to an email.

What advice do you have for people who are starting a DAM cleanup project?

Figure out why the DAM needs a cleanup and address those issues!  Also, make sure the purpose and parameters of the DAM are crystal clear.

What advice would you give to people who are trying to get a digital asset management system in their organization?

Communicate, communicate, communicate.  Focus less on the technology and more on why it will help them.  Know how the DAM will affect a variety of users.  Change is hard, so offer empathy, too!

Do you recommend any resources, conferences, forums, or new sources for people looking to learn more about digital asset management?

The Special Libraries Association is starting a new Digital Asset Management section, soon, and I hope that will be a great resource for webinars and continuing education.  There are a few groups online that offer certification, too.  I’ve never been to Henry Stewart, but I have a feeling that for someone interested in a deep dive, that conference would be helpful.

Do you have a favorite digital asset? What is it and why do you like it? Attach it or send a link!
My favorite asset is a stock photo but the metadata tells me I cannot share it with externals!  I really like our infographics, including this one.

Are you a DAM Champ or do you know one? We want to talk to you! More info here.

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