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 webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its 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. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians 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 one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.