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AMICO Executive Committee

Art Museum Information Consortium (AMICO)
Archives & Museum Informatics:
Activities Report
October 1998


Summary

AMICO received a ruling from the I.R.S. granting our application for 501 (c) 3 status.

Staffing for AMICO was a priority following Executive Committee approval of a budget which permitted hiring. AMICO and Archives & Museum Informatics moved to new quarters in October. These facilities were in part selected because they include room for an expanding AMICO staff.

Brad Dietrich, AMICO's new Technology Director, implemented a variety of upgrades to AMICO's hardware and software platforms in October.

AMICO and its partner, IUPUI, were awarded funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to conduct an experiment in K-12 and public library distribution of The AMICO Library in the years 1999-2001. Planning for the project will now move forward with the advertisement for and hiring of a project director.

Detailed Report:

Staffing
Archives & Museum Informatics hired two employees whose work will increasingly be devoted to AMICO and moved Jennifer Trant from a consulting relationship with AMICO to an employee relationship. The effect of these changes will be to give AMICO the staff support it needs, while reducing the costs to AMICO as compared to direct hiring of its own full-time staff. It is anticipated that these arrangements will remain in place for the remainder of this fiscal year, at which time all staff will be transferred fully to AMICO. For the remainder of this year, AMICO will be billed for services of its Executive Director, Member/Client Coordinator and Technical Director on a direct per diem basis depending on number of days (up to full time) that they devote to AMICO activity.

Distribution
The terms of an agreement with distributors to allow them to deliver The AMICO Library, and also to have The AMICO Library for a finite period in advance of offering a service in order to develop their application, were developed in the early months of AMICO's life and put up on the web site for discussion. Now we need to have these terms incorporated into a legal agreement so that contracts may be negotiated with potential 1999-2000 distributors. A draft has been turned over to Legal Counsel.

AMICO Data Processing
In conjunction with the move, the AMICO Public Web Site was upgraded. Significant numbers of users led us to move the database to a larger machine and different operating system and to install faster communications. Data processing on the Members web Site was improved dramatically as interactive editing of members contributions was introduced in October. Specifications for the interactive editing, validation, parsing and maintenance functions on the AMICO members web site were finalized and development of the full capabilities was scheduled. By the end of the month, interactive record editing was fully supported and documented and the framework and interface for other functions was available for member review.

Members
Discussions of the terms of AMICO indemnification and insurance, raised by LACMA and the Walker, continued to occupy time despite the Executive Committee decision in September. Many drafts of possible insurance and membership agreement terms were exchanged and reviewed by Counsel. Legal Counsel now has obtained all the changes suggested by members during the signing of these agreements and will consolidate them into a new form of agreement to be submitted for Board review in January. It is clear that in the future a single document outlining all terms of membership must be a non-negotiable element of joining AMICO since the effort involved in rewriting agreements is substantial.

In an effort to bring new members "up to speed", Trant and Bearman conducted briefings at the Frick, Whitney and Library of Congress.

University Testbed
Some of the Universities began to use their testbeds and discussion began on the web site lists devoted to these experiments. Feedback began to be received by RLG about their application and The AMICO Library content.


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