Definitely no one is born knowing all this, and I personally am most grateful to many library colleagues who have helped the University of North Dakota libraries with our own recent shift.
On September 22, 2017, we went live with our first-ever (yes, I know we're late to the game - long story, and I'm fairly new here) institutional repository. For a variety of reasons, we decided that we needed our repository to be able to replace a number of other assorted DAM set-ups we had. We had been using Archon, Content DM, and a few other things. Again for a number of reasons, we went with Digital Commons from bePress. Yes, we had signed the contract before we knew Elsevier was buying them, and I can't say I was personally happy to hear that, but we have been very happy with the product. No, it's not the same as some other DAMs. But for our needs, it works remarkably well.
We got a LOT of help from others who had been through similar processes, and we looked at Islandora and other software. But we don't have the staff or infrastructure for some of these solutions, and the companies that supported hosted services for some of these products were just way out of our price range, given our support needs. We also have a number of other specific restrictions that made Digital Commons the best choice for us. If anyone wants to talk to us about how we came to make our selection, or what kinds of objects we support, or anything about this, I'd be happy to speak offline.
Dean of Libraries & Information Resources
University of North Dakota
Chester Fritz Library, Room 217C
3051 University Ave, Stop 9000
Grand Forks, ND
Tel: (701) 777-2619
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From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Kyle Banerjee
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2018 1:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] What DAMS does your institution use, and why?
On Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 9:30 AM, Deirdre F Joyce <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks to Stephen for asking the question. We are starting to get
> ready to go through a similar process, so I have appreciated
> everyone's insights and resources as well.
My guess is a number of others are wondering the same thing. Several people have privately expressed to me anxiety about posting here out of fear of being perceived as dumb, which is unfortunate. No one is born knowing this stuff -- if anyone thinks less of someone else for asking a question who wasn't exposed to the same opportunities, it reflects negatively on the person making the judgement rather than the person being judged. I personally think people would learn more, have more fun, and feel more connected if people felt more comfortable asking basic questions.
Back to the original question, the comparison matrix is a good place to start. As you go through it, it's important to be mindful that what looks like neat "yes" and "no" answers really are "it depends." The word "support" is slippery when it comes to functionality and standards. How that support is manifested is what's really important, and all systems present significant gotchas and opportunities that have a huge impact on outcomes that won't show up in charts. Don't forget legal and local computing compliance/environment stuff as different approaches interface with these things in very different ways.
For repositories and DAMs, my gut reaction would be to find individuals who have been through the process, grok your needs, and do the boots on the ground work -- you can learn more in a short conversation than you would spending many hours reading, discussing, and testing different systems.