"When I entered USC’s MMLIS program, I intended to pursue academic librarianship. After learning about special libraries through the program and internships, I was intrigued by the many interesting career possibilities presented and I pivoted my focus to digital librarianship within the entertainment field"
What was your career path before and after completing the MMLIS program?
I graduated with my Masters of Arts in English from Northwestern State University (NSU) and began teaching as an English Adjunct Instructor at NSU in Natchitoches, Louisiana. When I moved to Los Angeles, I was still teaching English but had transitioned to teaching entirely online. I missed the face-to-face interactions with students and peers and decided to pursue librarianship so that I could still be in an environment that promotes literacy education, critical thinking, and professional relationship-building. When I entered USC’s MMLIS program, I intended to pursue academic librarianship. After learning about special libraries through the program and internships, I was intrigued by the many interesting career possibilities presented and I pivoted my focus to digital librarianship within the entertainment field. I graduated from the MMLIS program and began my Digital Librarian role at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment where I ingest, organize, catalog, track, and distribute digital assets for the Avatar Franchise team. In this role, I interact with partners in the video game, publishing, marketing, and licensing sectors. I’m grateful that I get to work with a team that includes some of the most talented, creative, and forward-thinking professionals in the industry.
How has your work been influenced by the skills you learned in the program?
Effective organizational and time-management skills were essential for my success during the MMLIS program. The ongoing necessity for producing quality work by an appointed deadline throughout the program (while working a full-time job and completing two internships) helped solidify successful time-management habits. These are skills that I continue to exercise in my daily work life. Additionally, the core librarianship concept of continuously striving to meet user needs is constantly at the forefront of my mind when considering my daily workflow. For instance, when I apply metadata to our files, I have to consider everyone employed under the Avatar umbrella who may attempt to access each asset and apply searchable keywords so that they can easily retrieve the information.
What can you tell us about the work being done in outreach librarianship today and in the coming years?
Digital asset management is still a fairly new field, and in a niche field such as digital asset management within an entertainment franchise - the field that I am in, it is more so in a developmental phase. Entertainment and production franchises possessed digital assets all along; however, they did not possess the specifically-suited organizational programs and man-power to keep the assets properly cataloged. As entertainment franchises develop their own organizational systems and leverage online platforms and social media for marketing studies, advertising, and general partnership communication surrounding brand expansions, more librarians will be needed to thoughtfully organize and track the resources in ways that best meet the company’s needs while also devising long-term preservation plans.