Kirk Alexander, Princeton University
Susan Altman, Middlesex Community College
Kay Arthur, James Madison University
Ben Kessler, University of Chicago
Joy Kestenbaum, Purchase College, SUNY
Elisa Lanzi, Smith College
Sarah Legins, Clemson University
Amy Lucker, Harvard University
Kathy Martinez, Harvard University
Michael May, University of Alberta
Morgan Paine, Florida Gulf Coast Community
Carol Terry, Rhode Island School of Design
Esther Thyssen, Sage Colleges.
Distributors and AMICO Staff
Susan Taylor, Research Libraries Group
Nancy Harm, Luna Imaging
Jennifer Trant, AMICO Executive Director
David Bearman, AMICO Director of Strategy and Research
Scott Sayre, AMICO Director of Member Services
Kris Wetterlund, AMICO User Services
The meeting began with a round table discussion of how The AMICO Library
is currently being used by those attending the meeting. Kris asked what
could be offered to support use of AMICO in the form of User Services.
Kay Arthur (James Madison) shared with the group the discoveries she has
made teaching Gothic Architecture with early photographic resources from
The George Eastman House in The AMICO Library. Comparing the 19th century
photographs with present day ones allowed her to show the evolutions of
buildings and the impact of restoration. Using The AMICO Library, Kay
said, I discover things I would never have found using traditional
sources. The group agreed that one of the most exciting things about The
AMICO Library is the unexpected images found by instructors and students.
Kay felt that the breadth of material available in The AMICO Library was
also helpful in other contexts. Problematic works provided good examples
for discussion in upper-level seminars. Students are also able to find
little known works of art that might have a topical or local resonance
for them, because, for example, they are in the students hometown.
Suddenly, she said snap, youve got their attention
because it relates to something they know already. The AMICO Library also
provides a great source of Unknown works to use on exams.
Kay also mentioned listing The AMICO Library as a resource for student
Susan Altman, (Middlesex Community College) uses The AMICO
Library as a source in a research project in her Renaissance and Modern
introductory class. The group is assigned a research project that results
in the creation of an exhibition and its accompanying catalog.
The students use the digital images from The AMICO Library as they design
their exhibition. They have access to many more works than they might
otherwise have had, and now, with access from home, another barrier to
their creative use of the content is lifted.
Kirk Alexander (Princeton) mentioned that The AMICO Library was being
used in History and Media Studies as well as in Art History.
Elisa Lanzi (Smith) reported strong interest at Smith College, and cited
in particular a student paper on Art and Death that wouldnt
have been possible - or would have been a lot more difficult
without The AMICO Library.
Joy Kestenbaum (Purchase) reported that she had been teaching a course
in Art Librarianship at CUNY Queens Graduate School of Library and Information
Science where she had use The AMICO Library as a key resource for the
LOCAL VS. NETWORK USE OF The AMICO Library
A discussion was held about teaching with The AMICO Library live on the
Internet versus downloading images into a presentation platform. The group
recommended downloading those images used in class as an overall strategy
Several in attendance including Ben Kessler (University of Chicago),
Kirk Alexander and a number of MDID users have their own software in place
to allow instructors to present images in university-designed interfaces.
Amy Luker (Harvard) explained that Harvard is exploring this option because
they wanted to provide their users with a single view of images resources
available, rather than require them to consult many different resources
This cross-searching is a critical utility. While IT staff at some institutions
can clear an access path to enable live access, most agreed that using
presentation interfaces that were not live was the least risky way to
go. In general it was agreed that more user management tools, such as
those that allowed instructors to take away presentations,
were desirable, whether they were provided by AMICO Distributors or by
software designed by universities.
Susan Taylor of RLG reported that they plan to offer the AMICO Library
via the interface used for RLG Cultural Materials when the next edition
of the AMICO Library is made available, and hope to support cross-searching
of the two collections at sometime in the future. Nancy Harm noted that
with the Luna Insight platform offered by Cartography Associates it was
possible to search multiple collections. Users present were interested
in knowing more about the various features offered by different Distributors.
Scott Sayre reported on a study that has begun at AMICO and that we hope
will tell us more in the future about the functions required by users
of networked cultural resources.
Integration of works from The AMICO Library into local systems is still
a challenge. Kirk Alexander requested, for example, that the JPG header
fields be used by Distributors to carry the data about the work of art
depicted (so that the image always came with its cataloguing). Others
felt that easy ways to integrate network-accessible content into courseware
environments like Blackboard or WebCT were becoming more important.
Others mentioned the problem of having to re-size images to fit local
needs. For example, the MDID sizes and the pre-sampled sizes in the RLG
distribution are not identical. It was agreed, however, that this was
a moving target and that expectations are rising with technological capabilities.
Users with data in their local systems were reminded that The AMICO Library
is a dynamic resource, and that the data in it changes and is updated,
both with new works every year and with updates (often weekly). If data
is loaded into a local system, provision needs to be made for managing
these changes in information.
DEVELOPMENT OF The AMICO Library
Several attendees questioned future additions to The AMICO Library, and
had specific requests for material they needed to teach or to fulfill
faculty requirements. Everyone was encouraged to use the Suggest
a Work form on the AMICO Web site to communicate these needs to
AMICO Members. Ben Kessler requested that the Suggest a Work
form on the AMICO Web site be simplified, so that he didnt have
to always fill in his contact information every time. (A quick fix for
this suggested: allowing his browser to auto-complete that part of the
form for him.) In commenting on the development of The AMICO Library,
he offered the metaphor of AMICO as a grocery store. The grocery store
may or may not have all the ingredients you require, but you still
have to go home and cook, inferring that it is the universities
job to assemble all of the ingredients for successful teaching, and the
job of the instructor becomes creating meaning for students from those
Kay Arthur recommended Archeological museums, and several in the group
expressed the desire to see more European museums added as AMICO Members.
The National Gallery (Washington DC) was identified as a most desired
American addition. Attendees wondered what factors stood in the way of
a museum joining AMICO. Jennifer Trant and David Beaman (AMICO) explained
the nature of AMICO Membership, with much depending on a museums
ability to appreciate the demand from universities who use their material.
If users of AMICO share the ways in which they use the Library and ways
they want to use it, museums would better understand their need to become
involved in AMICO to address user requirements. Amy Lucker formerly of
the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, outlined the large investment of time
and capital that a museum must take on in order to digitize its material.
Many museums like many universities -- are not yet ready
to take on projects of this scope, but they will be in the future.
Jennifer Trant encouraged all those present to communicate with their
colleagues at museums that they would like to have become AMICO Members.
Knowing that users see a difference between having something on the Web
and in The AMICO Library, and that they want museums to participate, can
help make the case.
The group was asked if any present had training programs for faculty.
Elise Lanzi reported that their Visual Resources Staff has become more
and more of a training resource and that they have developed a training
program. Elisa observed that often awareness is as big an issue as training,
and thanked AMICO for the AMICO Update newsletter summarizing what were
about in bite-sized bits. (Anyone interested in adding faculty names to
the mailing list or who would like additional copies should contact Kris
At Princeton, students serve as trainers, and work with instructors in
their own classroom one on one. The model of a group of instructors attending
training sessions together in a classroom hasnt worked at Princeton.
Harvard has begun to realize that faculty want technical support from
the Library, and while they havent provided it in the past they
are going to develop programs in this area soon. Ben Kessler stressed
the importance of campus-wide support for teaching with technology, and
encouraged everyone to find out what was available outside their department
and take advantage of it.
At Clemson, where Visual Resources is part of the Library, training is
coordinated with other needs across the campus. Michael May (University
of Alberta) reported that they are finding that training hasnt been
a major impediment to use. Indeed, students there are raising the expectations
in the department. Having had a course in Canadian Art History taught
digitally, students expect the same access to other materials.
RECOGNIZING INNOVATIVE USE
AMICO would like to recognize the investment made by faculty as they develop
strategies for teaching with technology. It is also important to communicate
the successes people have had with integrating new methods into their
pedagogy. Wed like to offer an award for innovative use of The AMICO
Library by instructors in their curriculum at subscribing institutions.
Our current concept is to provide CAA Conference Registration for one
instructor for next years conference.
The group recommended that those who had been part of AMICO since its
inception serve on a jury, as well as a museum representative. The group
also recommended that award submissions be presented in a panel on innovative
use of technology in the classroom at next years conference, so
that all AMICO users could benefit from examples of innovative use of
the Library. We hope that CAA will be involved in sponsoring and crafting
the award and it will be announced in CAA publications as well as the
AMICO Users Listserv and the AMICO Web site (http://www.amico.org)
AMICO staff present thanked everyone for finding time in their busy CAA
schedule to share their experiences with The AMICO Library. Kris promised
to share what shed learned with AMICO Members and said were
looking forward to further conversations.
Kris encouraged anyone with ideas about how AMICO can facilitate use of
The AMICO Library to contact her at email@example.com.