The Widen digital asset manager series: Being a Widen DAMster – with Barbara Janis of Presidio Trust

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Today, we spoke with Barbara Janis of the Presidio Trust in San Francisco, California. Barbara has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science and started her career as a public librarian. Fifteen years ago she came to the Presidio Trust to be their Librarian and Records Manager. Today, she is acting as a catalyst to record the Presidio’s history and the Presidio Trust’s contributions to preserving its heritage.
The Presidio Trust is a federal agency, overseeing the transformation of the Presidio of San Francisco, a former military base into a national park. As a federal agency, the Trust is especially observant of copyright laws in the usage of images from other repositories and makes sure to credit the appropriate entity.
This is what Barbara’s daily workspace looks like!
Barbara Janis of Presidio Trust
And, this is what she has to say about her experience with Widen DAM...
1. How long have you been a Widen user?
We launched Widen in January 2012. Previously we were using an image system with a limited number of seat licenses.  Having Widen has opened up access of our collection to a broader community.
2. How often do you use the Media Collective?
I work 8 hours a day and I’m, working with Widen much of that time! I’m constantly scanning, applying Optical Character Recognition, then uploading, tagging documents and images.  Staff and outside contractors email requests for articles, images, and environmental remediation documents, which I supply to them via Widen.
3. In what area(s) of your organization is Widen’s digital asset management system being used?
Anyone preparing a report, such as a cultural landscape report, or an environmental impact statement needs images to document conditions of buildings and landscape. A report showing completion of a rehabilitation or restoration of a landscape will use before and after images. Having the images contained in Widen DAM system makes this part of the project much easier.
4. For what kinds of activities are you using it? 
Archival activities are one of my concerns. As records manager, I work with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to transfer permanent and temporary records to them. NARA now has the ability to accept electronic permanent records in PDF format. I’m using the DAM to tag our permanent records and will be transferring those records at the end of the year.
We hope to use the InDesign preview feature now that it’s available with Widen. I will also be adding a backlog of videos to the DAM system after they’re converted to a supported format.
5. How do your users use the Collective?
Our graphic designers are fluent in searching and locating the images they want. For our general staff we initially provided trainings to ramp up use.  A few Jing training videos have been added to the dashboard of our site to assist with training new users.
6. What is the most useful thing the Media Collective does for you?
As a librarian, organization is the byword. I want to know where everything is and access it quickly, then provide this information to my base of users. People who are already comfortable with using technology and the internet are enthusiastic Widen users.
7. What are your favorite apps on your smart phone?
I don’t have a smart phone, but I wish I did.
8. Which tech websites or blogs do you follow?
We have an external affairs department dedicated to posting information to our blog and website.  Via an employee digest they share these postings and our media coverage with all employees. This newsletter is considered a permanent record and is housed in Widen.
9. What do you think is the most important thing other users should know about using a digital asset management system?
That it exists and how easy it is to use!
I’ve created an internal distribution list of Widen users and send them announcements for every webinar that Widen holds. I don't know how many people take advantage of it, but I try to let them know that it’s easy, and the archive of past webinars is available from the Widen menu bar.

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