Eric Reber is an experienced digital archivist and shares some of his favorite educational resources for digital asset management.
What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?
My background is in library science. My first positions were at the Savannah College of Art & Design: There I worked in serials were I got my early cataloging chops and then I moved into the Visual Resources Center which I consider my gateway job to DAM. There I learned image cataloging for a homegrown institutional Digital Image Database. My final position at SCAD was as a reference librarian, which has served me well when it comes to instruction for the end users of the Digital Asset Library I currently manage. Now, I am a Digital Asset Archivist at Georgia State University. Here I have established and administer a DAM system for the university’s PR and Marketing Communications Division. This system serves as both archive and distribution vehicle for the PR and Marketing assets we create for the colleges, departments and programs of the university.
How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?
Having come from a library background I joined the Visual Resources Association while I was working at SCAD and pursuing my MLIS degree at Valdosta State University. The VRA proved very valuable when I first attended their conference in Atlanta, GA. I learned of industry trends and resources there. Many DAM vendors attended so I was exposed to a broad spectrum of DAM systems. There I learned of their Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI). This was an immersive week long program at the University of New Mexico covering everything from rights management to metadata and cataloging. If you have started in libraries and are looking to make the jump to DAM, this program was the vehicle that really helped me nail the interview that got me the position at GSU. I can’t recommend it enough. Currently, I participate in our local DAM Meetup, facilitated by my friend Elizabeth Keathly, where I can stay on top of industry trends and enjoy discussions with my fellow Atlanta DAM professionals.
What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?
My biggest mistake with DAM was possibly not understanding how challenging learning to navigate and use a new system can be for the layman. Patience with your end users will ensure the best possible buy-in for a new system implementation!
What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?
My biggest success to date is the establishment of our PR and MarComm Digital Asset Library here at GSU. I take pride that I took about 15,000 disorganized image assets dumped on a local server and migrated them into a highly organized DAM system where the collection has grown to over 100,000 assets to include images, video, and graphic files. What previously required end users to come to our offices and browse images on our in-house server now has 1133 active clients able to access, browse and download assets from anywhere they have an internet connection.