Librarians of “The Digital Age”: digital asset managers

Digital Asset Managers (DAMs), also known as: Digital Archivists and Digital Preservation Officers are essentially the new hybrid Librarians of the 21st Century. Digital Asset Managers or I’ll call them DAMs for the purposes of this entry, like their traditional predecessors, still possess exceptional organizational dexterity, and an unrivaled commitment to the preservation of our history, now coupled with technical expertise and proficiency, necessary to properly organize, and manage our virtual resources. According to The New York Times, there were over 20,000 people working as Digital Asset Managers in 2009, in a rapidly evolving digital market, where the demand for these new skills is expected to triple over the next decade. In addition to the time and effort required for organizing and protecting material in digital form, virtual librarians or DAMs also: handle copyright issues; license technology; serve as database administrators for our virtual-reality-networks (VRNs); and, they evaluate, purchase and manage digital and on-line content from vendors, including web content and on-line marketing tools. They assign identification markers within the electronic data, known as meta-tags, to properly catalog electronic material for high-demand access, and even manage our numerous iterations of our software and hardware, often referred to as new releases, versions and updates. Digital Asset Managers are a key component to the successful implementation, and on-going management of our assets, as we move further into this new virtual environment.

I look forward to your feedback and comments, especially for those of you who serve as Digital Asset Managers today, employ a DAM, or are in-the-process of hiring, or outsourcing a DAM. Next Hot Topic…Digital Asset Managers, In-house vs. Outsourced.

“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” – Steve Jobs