Margaret Webster, Task Force Chair, began the well-attended meeting by reminding attendees that the Visual Resources Issues Task Force (VRITF) was holding its first and last in-person meeting at the conference. Despite the difficulties of tackling many large and diffuse issues during the past year, the task force had successfully set the stage for the continuation of its mission, primarily by proposing a Visual Resources Advisory Committee (VRAC) as its successor. A copy of the draft proposal was circulated to all meeting attendees. It was announced that the ARLIS/NA Executive Board had in fact approved the establishment of such an ad hoc committee.
Discussion during the meeting centered primarily on the following issues:
* Committee charge
The charge of the VRAC will be to integrate visual resources professional practices and concerns into ARLIS/NA's planning agenda and management structure, represent visual resources interests to the Executive Board, formulate positions on specific visual resources issues, and serve as a liaison to external organizations. The Cataloging Advisory Committee was cited as a model for the VRAC.
* Committee structure
Membership will be made up of nine members, including the Executive Board liaison, the VRD Moderator, and VRD Vice-moderator. This year, these positions will be filled by Margaret Webster, Martha Mahard, and Leigh Gates, respectively. The membership should provide broad representation from all parts of the Society. The remaining six members will ideally be divided among those serving one-year and two-year terms in order to insure continuity. The VRD Moderator will not be required to chair the committee.
The committee's make-up was given first priority, since both internal links with other appropriate ARLIS groups and external liaisons with other professional organizations are considered critically important. Flexibility in appointing liaisons was advised, drawing upon not only current VRITF members, but Visual Resource Division (VRD) and other interested ARLIS membership.
* Internal liaisons
Placement of VRAC members on each of the appropriate ARLIS standing committees was discussed, in order to maximize reporting and advising. An informal survey revealed that several VRITF members were already members of other committees, including Technology Relations and AAT Advisory. Other appropriate groups for regular VRAC liaisons are the Round Tables, Public Policy, Standards, Cataloging Advisory, Collection Development, Professional Development, North American Relations, and Technical Education Committees. A possible future ARLIS Data Standards Committee should also be considered for liaison.
The need to coordinate with each of these ARLIS committees' own external affiliations was cited. The advantages of committee-level communication and the speed of reaction it affords were discussed. A plea was made for more effective dissemination of information and reporting, both to the VRD and to the ARLIS membership as a whole.
The critical relationship between the VRAC and VRD was considered. Previously, it had been suggested that the VRAC serve as a 'steering committee' for the VRD. Coordination between these two groups will need to be further discussed and clarified.
* External liaisons
The relationship between the Visual Resources Association (VRA) and the VRAC was discussed as being of vital importance, warranting more examination as well. A concern for more cooperation between these organizations on an executive level was expressed. The possibility of placing an ex officio member on each other's Executive Boards was mentioned.
The Canadian Visual Resources Association (CVRC), Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO), and the Museum Computer Network (MCN) were also mentioned as important organizations with which to make formal liaisons. It was noted that there is a continuing need to influence appropriate mentioned as important organizations with which to make formal liaisons. It was noted that there is a continuing need to influence appropriate initiatives, such as CONFU.
President Jack Robertson interjected his belief that it was important to look outward from the Society, in addition to integrating visual resources issues into the mainstream of ARLIS' planning and structure.
It was proposed that the VRAC Chair serve as the official liaison with any external organizations, but may appoint proxies to outside organizations when appropriate. Financial considerations for these appointments will need to be taken into account.
* Items for action:
1. Development of a list of committee goals, objectives, and activities drawn from the ARLIS Strategic Plan
2. Creation of committee
Trudy Jacoby was approved by acclamation of the VRITF as its recommendation for VRAC Chair. With her agreement, her name will be submitted to the Executive Board for appointment. Solicitation of interest from general ARLIS membership for remaining committee members should be made. A request for a report derived from ARLIS membership registration information on VRD membership and its ARLIS committee affiliations should be made. Names of those interested in membership should be made to Trudy Jacoby. As VRAC Chair, she will make remaining committee appointments. VRAC committee members who will act as liaisons with appropriate ARLIS committees need to be formally authorized.
3. Philadelphia conference planning
Because of the opportunities afforded by next year's concurrent ARLIS and VRA conferences, the importance and urgency of coordinating conference planning was emphasized. The VRAC Chair should be included in conference planning for the VRA. Elisa Lanzi, member of the VRA Conference Planning Committee, volunteered to work closely with Trudy Jacoby in insuring that visual resources topics and issues would be more than adequately represented. A formal notification of the VRAC's formation should be made to the VRA Executive Board. The desirability of a joint plenary session was discussed, as well as the possibility of other joint sessions. Conference proposals from the VRAC may also be made through the VRD.
Consideration of the possible hotel rate conflict and conference registration fee structure in Philadelphia should also be addressed as soon as possible.
Meeting attendees were urged to submit any concerns about conference planning to the Executive Board for consideration.
Thanks and adjournment
MacLean Visual Resources Collection
Art Institute of Chicago