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AMICO Executive Committee

Art Museum Information Consortium (AMICO)
Archives & Museum Informatics:
Activities Report
February 1999


Summary

February began with a week at the College Art Association and Visual Resources Association Conferences in Los Angeles at which AMICO held focus group meetings with potential users; the Research Libraries Group was in the CAA exhibition hall showing the testbed library and soliciting interest in subscriptions for the 1999-2000 academic year.

During February agreement was reached with the Research Libraries Group on the proposal we had made to them in January. Subscriptions will be available for the 1999/2000 academic year under a fee schedule which is based on size of undergraduate student body or numbers of K-12 students or library card holders, capped at the high end for large institutions. License fees to AMICO exceed the RLG delivery price at the high end, and vice-a-versa for the low end. This ensures that RLG's fixed costs in delivery can be met while AMICO realizes a reasonable per user license fee.

Detailed Reports:

Subscriber feedback:

Full assessment of the implications of the focus groups will await meetings of the AMICO User and Uses Committee in April, but preliminary indications are that the Visual Resources curators see the benefits of a Library that they can integrate with their local resources. Art historians responded to The AMICO Library by asking what it could do for them - individually - and, not surprisingly, found the library in its present state, and its short term future, lacking for the support of individual research projects. They did see value, however, in keying the Library to introductory textbook topics and themes. In some ways, this response convinced us further that the broad benefits of The AMICO Library to Humanities education should be emphasized over the narrow benefits to art history. The resource has its greatest value in introducing art into general Humanities education. In confirmation, we found that interest in subscribing to The AMICO Library was great at the university-wide level, but less within art history departments, in part because of inadequate departmental funding.

Distributors:

Despite considerable effort in moving the negotiations regarding pricing forward, RLG did not annouce pricing for their AMICO Library Service in time for CAA and VRA. However, by the end of the month, we had come to an agreement. The RLG fees structure, as agreed by AMICO, is:

Type of Institution Price
   
Academic Institutions  
under 2K undergrads $2,000
between 2 - 8K undergrads $4,000
between 8 - 15K undergrads $6,000
between 15 - 25K undergrads $7,000
over 25K undergrads $10,000
   
Public Libraries  
under 100,000 cardholders $1,000
between 100-200,000 cardholders $2,000
between 200-500,000 cardholders $4,000
between 500-750,000 cardholders $6,000
between 750,000-1M cardholders $8,000
over 1M cardholders $10,000
   
Museum and Research Institutions  
budget under $5M $2,500
budget over $5M $4,000

A meeting in Los Angeles finalized some details with OhioLINK, the Ohio Library Consortium. We hope to have a Distributors contract with them shortly.

We've exchanged drafts with the California Digital Library. An ftp site was set up to provide test data to their development team.

Web Site
The Art Museum Network has hired RazorFish, a New York-based design group, to develop a new visual interface for the AMICO Public Web site. Considerable time was spent working with them to describe the content of the site, and its structure.

Users and Uses
The Cornell IMG survey was released and the first responses have been received.

Data Processing for AMICO

AMICO members have been using the Contribution Management System to edit and update their documentation in the Library. These tools are added to and enhanced as needed. A key release in February was the Linking Report, which identifies which images, metadata records and catalog records are linked to each other. Members have begun to contribute records, and to prepare for the end of the month contribution deadline.

AMICO drew up a schedule for providing AMICO data to distributors; all image records will be provided to distributors at the end of April, 1999 and made public on the AMICO web site in an "overview". Textual records associated with the images will be available at that date as well, though they will be edited further during May and June before being turned on for subscribers on July 1.

In order to enable RazorFish to develop the interface to the AMICO Public Web Site search system, A&MI moved a copy of the AMICO database to a separate computer and provided remote access to RazorFish developers.

Member Services
In order to support the contributions schedule, the AMICO members site software facilities for validating data and image contributions from AMICO members was tested in February and implemented for members to use. Software programs to read the Library of Congress MARC contributions was developed. Data from the new members was fully contributed, though subject still to editing, by the end of February. Some prior year members had completed their data contributions; others were still working on it.

Marketing - Summer intern
In February, AMICO was approached by Kelly Richmond, a graduate student in the Arts Management Program at Carnegie Mellon University about serving as a summer intern. Kelly had six years of prior experience in marketing with America Online and proposed a program to develop numerous marketing deliverables for AMICO. After interviews and review of her work, we hired her to serve in this capacity. She will be at the AMICO exhibit booth at Museums and the Web.


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