Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management

Another DAM Podcast interview with Megan McGovern on Digital Asset Management

Megan McGovern discusses Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does the world’s largest glass museum use Digital Asset Management?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?


Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I am Henrik de Gyor. Today I am speaking with Megan McGovern.
Megan, how are you?
Megan McGovern: [0:09] I am very well, and yourself?
Henrik: [0:10] Good. Megan, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Megan: [0:14] At the museum where I work, I am the system administrator for
our Digital Asset Management system. I set up templates and make all of the
configurations, and I was also involved in the purchasing, just not as a final
decision maker, but someone whose input was regarded. [0:29] I am also the
vendor liaison with our Digital Asset Management system. Past that, I am responsible
for assisting making policies regarding Digital Asset Management
practices what images are added to our system, what images might be weeded
out, retention schedules, things of that nature. I train all of the users on using
our system.
[0:49] Outside of my day-to-day work, I am the co-chair of the special interest
group for Digital Asset Management at MCN, which is the Museum Computer
Network. I’ve also spoken on panels in the MCN Conference, as well as the
AAM, which is the American Association of Museums Conference.
Henrik: [1:07] How does the world’s largest glass museum use Digital Asset
Megan: [1:11] We use Digital Asset Management all the time. It’s a very image
and video-centric world now, and we really saw the need, earlier in the 2000s,
to have a centralized location for our digital images. Silos are inefficient, so we
used Digital Asset Management as kind of our image library where, at a central
location, people, if they have a project, a lecture, a publication, an exhibition, or
just for reference, they can go to our system, search, and bring up the images
they need for their particular use. [1:40] We also have a direct feed between our
Digital Asset Management system and our website. Pictures that we store in our
system based on certain criteria, if they meet certain metadata values, they get
pushed out to the website and display to the whole world. It’s really a backbone
of our website along with our information and our various content management
systems with their databases.
[2:01] It’s really an important part of what we do, and we’re unique among museums
in that our asset management system doesn’t just have pictures of glass
objects as a glass museum, but we also have an extensive library, different
libraries on materials, design drawings, batch notebooks for recipes for making
glass, things like that.
[2:19] Then we also use our Digital Asset Management system for programs and
events photography. The VIPs visit, some millions visit our portraits of staff or
other people who come to lecture here, so we use it quite extensively.
Henrik: [2:33] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Megan: [2:37] Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned working with Digital
Asset Management is, the field is really as much about people management and
change management as it is about asset management. Working with people to
set up preferences for the system and customizations. [2:53] Working change
managements, if you’re actually installing a new Digital Asset Management
system or one hasn’t existed before, getting input, having people trained and
feeling comfortable and feeling like they have a voice in how the system is
run, so that they’ll actually use it and the project will be a success. I think that’s
almost as important as knowing about metadata and download and technical
specifications for images.
[3:16] I also found that my library and information science background was very
helpful, knowing about the history of cataloging and the whys and wherefores,
how libraries set up information management in the era before computers. It
helps to see how information might be structured even for things that might
generally be considered unstructured information, like candid photos of children
making glass, things of that nature.
[3:39] That being said, I’ve also found that some IT knowledge is very useful,
especially, just a small background. Even a basic knowledge of SQL is sometimes
very useful in understanding how the back end of the Digital Asset
Management system, the database, works and operates.
[3:53] Past that, I would just say flexibility is key. The Digital Asset Management
system market, it seems to be always in flux and technology, as we all know, is
ever progressing and evolving. Being able to be flexible and change as times
change and the environment changes seems to be the key to success, at least in
my experience.
Henrik: [4:13] Great advice. Thanks, Megan.
Megan: [4:15] You’re very welcome.
Henrik: [4:17] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
onto Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom,
iTunes and the Tech Podcast Network. If you have any comments or questions,
please feel free to email me at Thanks again.

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Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Podcaster. Writer.

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