DAM: A Career Opportunity for LIS Pros

by Kiersten Bryant, former Head Editor, INALJ California
previously published 12/10/13

DAM: A Career Opportunity for LIS Pros

kiersten bryantOne of the things that we try to emphasize here at INALJ is that there are many career options for MLIS holders other than working in an academic, public, or school library. The skills we have gained while earning an MLIS, as well as working in traditional librarian roles have prepared us for interesting careers beyond library walls.

I attended a presentation at the Internet Librarian Conference this year that was about alternative careers for information professionals. In this presentation, Deb Hunt, current SLA president, focused on Digital Asset Management (DAM) as an ideal career for librarians. The DAM Glossary describes digital asset management as “the process of storing, cataloging, searching and delivering computer files (digital assets). These may take the form of video, audio, images, print marketing collateral, office documents, fonts or 3D models.”  Deb Hunt gave several reasons for why librarians are good candidates for DAM jobs including expertise in organizing media of all types, experience in building metadata schema and taxonomies, knowledge of copyright issues, and an appreciation of the importance of making assets findable – adding value to an organization.

I first became interested in Digital Asset Management while working as the Photo Coordinator at a magazine publishing company and was in charge of organizing and maintaining our photo library, and finding images for the art department. My interest in DAM was one of the reasons I decided to pursue my MLIS. While job searching for myself and for INALJ I have seen DAM jobs listed for museums, movie studios, television networks, pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies, corporate marketing departments, and universities. We live in a digital age that relies heavily on digitized and born digital media that needs to be organized and maintained, and these collections are only getting bigger. LIS pros have the skills to manage these collections, and manage them well.

Here are some resources to learn more about Digital Asset Management:

Another DAM Blog Extensive coverage of DAM topics from a DAM professional

Picture Park Webinars Features industry experts being interviewed about DAM-related subjects

DAM News DAM news and trends

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ.com. INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.