What do we mean when we say that a digital asset management solution (DAM) acts as a “central library” for rich media, such as photos and videos? The first thing most people assume is that this terminology refers to the fact that a cloud-based DAM provides organizations with one central location to hold all of their digital assets. So the “central library” analogy is supposed to help us understand that a DAM creates a collection of digital assets.
That’s one way to think about it, but there is a more inclusive interpretation as well. If you are researching the benefits and value a DAM can bring to your organization, you’ll want to read what our Content Strategist, Denzil Ford, has to say in her article, “Why Do We Call a DAM a ‘Library’ for Digital Assets,” published on DAM News, a leading source for DAM industry news and trends.
The article explains how traditional libraries that are buildings that hold books have 5 key things in common with DAM. The full article also gives 3 specific examples of how organizations are using DAM as a “library” outside of marketing functions. The powerful insight with these examples is that DAM is not merely a marketing tool – DAM is a technology that is currently empowering entire organizations to do things like educate and create art, customize product visions during brainstorming sessions, and literally create social change. Beyond marketing functions, DAM is empowering entire organizations with access to digital media.
As Denzil explains, “Just like a library isn’t just about storage, a DAM isn’t just about collecting digital files – at least not exclusively. It’s about organizing, governing, connecting, sharing and building. Like a library, a DAM holds a lot of stuff from yesterday, but in practice it is really all about tomorrow.”
Ralph Windsor's Introduction to the article:
Understanding Why DAMs Are More Like Libraries Than You Realize
by on December 9, 2016
"Denzil Ford of DAM vendor, MediaValet has contributed a feature article to DAM News entitled: Why Do We Call DAM A “Library” For Digital Assets? The piece speculates that the description of DAMs as being like ‘libraries’ is more accurate than many might realise and, as such, understanding the true nature of the comparison is key to grasping the potential of DAM:
“I’ve pondered on this a while, and here’s what I think: a DAM absolutely is a central collection, but when we talk about it being a “library,” this messaging actually calls to the ways in which a DAM is similar to a physical library, as in a building that holds books. In these highly-valued public locations, societies gather. They learn. They create, raise the next generation, and make change. Just like a library isn’t just about storage, a DAM isn’t just about collecting digital files – at least not exclusively. It’s about organizing, governing, connecting, sharing and building. Like a library, a DAM holds a lot of stuff from yesterday, but in practice it is really all about tomorrow. ” [Read More]
I have read a few items advocating dropping the term ‘library’ in relation to DAM based on an incomplete understanding of what they really are. This is not a view I agree with, but I might have held it also until I gained a better appreciation of libraries as knowledge exchanges, rather than some of the more out-of-date and superficial characteristics that most people associate with the term (shelves of books etc). In addition to Denzil’s article, Deb Fanslow’s feature series: Who Needs a DAM Librarian? Part I: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are is worth reading as well (for anyone who has not already). The subject is approached from quite a different perspective, but the implications in relation to understanding Digital Asset Management and getting the most out of it are similar."
Ralph Windsor is the editor of Digital Asset Management News. which contains the latest news, reviews, trends and opinion about the Digital Asset Management (DAM) industry including comment by the editor as well as feature articles contributed by independent authors.