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Definition: image library

What is an image library?

A digital image library is a cloud-based application that provides a secure, centralized location for storing, organizing, managing, and distributing images. Otherwise known as an image catalog it allows users to manage, publish, and archive large numbers of digital files quickly and easily. The best image library software enables brands, marketers, photographers, and other creatives to find, organize, edit, and share digital image files, quickly and easily. They help save time, reduce errors, and improve collaboration, both internally and externally.

Digital media libraries are an integral part of a brand’s intellectual property so it’s vital that companies protect them with a digital asset management (DAM) solution, or similar to ensure they don't lose control of valuable intangible assets.

Digital image management is simplified and streamlined by using an image library. Creating and maintaining a well-organized, secure, and accessible image library can mean the difference between productive workflows where collaboration is a pleasure, and chaotic systems where sourcing a single file takes hours.

Image libraries allow users to search for and display images based on categories, dates, and locations. Files can be tagged with keywords to make the searching and filtering process even easier and administrators can control access and permissions in seconds via the DAM.

What are the benefits of an image library?

Makes it easier to find images (and other content too!)
Image catalogs make finding files a breeze, for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Imagine if a company like Apple didn’t have a centralized media library for its marketing team. Finding the correct digital assets to launch campaigns and marketing activities would be a nightmare! Using an image library enables users to search for images by date, name, creator, category, keywords, or location in seconds—all in a highly secure, cloud-based environment.

Control access and usage (Well, if you’re an admin that is)
Digital asset management (DAM) is a powerful software for managing your image files. Image libraries allow administrators to control access and permissions by setting tailored copyright and access for each image. Administrators can even set expiratin dates to help keep on top of usage over time.

Reduces margin for error
Seeing is selling, and missing product images mean missing valuable sales. When a product image is updated in the DAM, it gets updated everywhere that you've hosted it, making it a lot easier to manage high-volume e-commerce and deliver a flawless digital experience. A well-managed image library helps keep your DAM up to date so you can be confident that every person, internally or externally, is working on the most up-to-date file.

Improves collaboration
Whether the project involves several images or hundreds of files, centralizing your content in an image library makes it easy to collaborate between internal departments or with external photographers or agencies. Images can be sourced, updated, and shared securely via your DAM in a matter of clicks.