Sustaining your DAM

Sara Winmill from the V&A talked about the huge shifts in mindset that were needed to accompany their DAM work. They needed to stop thinking about storing pictures of things and start thinking about managing those digital images as the things. Their needs for storage were vastly underestimated at first. Unlike the myth, storage is not so cheap – the V&A need some £330K for storage annually. They have been investigating innovative approaches to “backup bartering” – finding a similar organisation and storing a copy of each other’s data, so that the backups exist offsite but without the expense of using commercial storage companies.

Despite having a semantically enabled website, they have not been able to link their Library Catalogue’s MARC records with the images, and have three sets of identifiers that are not mapped.

One of their major DAM problems is trying to stop people storing multiple copies and refusing to delete anything. The core collections images need to be kept, but publicity and marketing material is now being stored in the system without any selection and disposal policies in place, The original system was designed without a delete button altogether.

Can we fix it? Yes we Can! Successfully Implementing a Multi-faceted DAM system at HiT entertainment

It was a pleasure to hear of Tabitha Yorke’s successful DAM implementation at HiT as they built their first digital library. This was a relatively constrained collection and two fulltime members of staff were able to catalogue it in a year. This provided the metadata they needed for a straightforward taxonomy-based search system that is simple and easy to use. This meant that self-research was supported, saving the team much time and increasing productivity hugely. They are now working to integrate the library with rights systems. They worked hard at getting users to test the metadata and made sure that they were cataloguing with terms the users wanted to search with, rather than those that occurred first to the cataloguers. They now have two digital librarians managing 150,000 assets.

Tabitha stayed on the stage and was joined in a panel session by David Bercovic, Digital Project Manager at Hachette UK, and Fearghal Kelly of Kit digital. The afternoon ended with David Lipsey’s concluding remarks.