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AMICO Executive Committee

Executive Committee Meeting
Tuesday, January 26, 1999
10:00 am - 12:00 p.m.

Coast Room
Museum of Contemporary Art
La Jolla, California

1999 - Strategic Issues

AMICO is well positioned to become the pre-eminent source of digital art information in the next decade.

Challenges it is facing now include:

1) Membership Growth
Responsibility: Board & Executive Committee
AMICO's membership must continue to grow by at least an average of one new member per month. This is essential so that AMICO is perceived as a growing and open consortium and so that the content of The AMICO Library can grow at an acceptable rate. It is also essential in the short term as a source of income to AMICO.

2) Library Growth
Responsibility: Members encouraged by Board Editorial Committee
AMICO Library content must be added to by each member, each year, and the quality of the data and its multimedia depth needs to be improved.

3) Contemporary Art
Responsibility: Executive Director, General Counsel, Rights Committee
The AMICO Library must include twentieth century art. Not only is truncating the history of art at 1920 or so unacceptable intellectually, one of the ways that The AMICO Library can be valuable to users, and that AMICO as a consortium can be valuable to its members, is to resolve the barriers to access to works under copyright.

4) User Needs
Responsibility: Client Services Coordinator, Distributors, Users & Uses Committee
AMICO must respond to the needs of users in higher education, K-12 education and life-long learning. AMICO can contribute significantly to the educational goals of its members by conducting and sponsoring research on these needs, identifying better practices for delivery of digital art information, and creating a multiplicity of distribution avenues for access to such content as The AMICO Library and museums own web programs.

5) Member Services
Responsibility: Board, Executive Director, Member Services Coordinator
AMICO must find ways to provide valued services to its members. If AMICO is not perceived by its members as assisting them in achieving their own ends it will not be able to grow or continue to receive support from its members.

6) Technology
Responsibility: Director of Research & Strategy, Technical Services Coordinator, Distributors, Technology Committee
AMICO must develop innovative technical means for delivery of large multimedia libraries to diverse user communities and identify best practices for its members. Over the long term, the role AMICO can play in assisting its members to make good technology choices for their own digital programs will be a significant benefit of membership.

7) Fundraising
Responsibility: Executive Committee, Board, Executive Director
AMICO would benefit greatly in the short term from philanthropic support for its basic programs. At startup, AMICO has the fewest members, and fewest subscribers, but its expenses are not significantly less than they will be with substantially larger numbers of members and subscribers. Additional subscribers costs AMICO very little, while additional members are quite expensive to support. But getting additional subscribers depends on increasing the size and quality of the library and offering it at a relatively low price. For the next three years, AMICO will have a difficult time balancing its books without philanthropic support.

On the Horizon

1) Competition
No one will try to do what AMICO is doing as long as we are making progress. Other art information services, such as the Grove Dictionary of Art, can intrude somewhat on our "market" only if they are using works of art from non-members or without permission. Other museum consortia can only help promote the idea of digital licensing.

2) Internationalization
Adding major European and Asian institutions to AMICO's membership would have a significant psychological impact on acceptance of AMICO. It will also increase dramatically the issues we have to face about distribution, user support, and rights. Timing this development to maximize benefits and reduce risks is essential.

3) Quality
If The AMICO Library is considered a trustworthy source, it will gain acceptance. AMICO is dependent on members to select works from their collections, catalog them fully and carefully, and create good multimedia documentation. AMICO needs to add quality control with consistent indexing. Especially in the short term, when fewer items and novelty invite greater scrutiny, quality is crucial. But it is costly.

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