VISUAL RESOURCES ASSOCIATION PUBLISHES WHITE PAPER ADVOCATING FOR VISUAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
LOS ANGELES, California -- The Visual Resources Association (VRA), the international organization for image media professionals, has published a White Paper to promote holistic thinking about effectively meeting institutional as well as individual image user needs. In an environment of rapid technological change and in the face of challenging economic conditions, Advocating for Visual Resources Management in Educational and Cultural Institutions identifies six strategic areas for consideration in planning for the future: multiple sources for images; ways of integrating personal and institutional collections; social computing and collaborative projects; the life-cycle continuum of image assets and their description; rights and copyright compliance; and visual literacy.
The paper argues that managers of image collections have successfully re-aligned operations to meet digital demands and that new technologies, extended responsibilities, and closer alliances with related services-such as information technology, rights management, and course management-typify the changes in the work of visual resources professionals. This work now involves building institution-wide resources tied into central digital information infrastructures for the management and preservation of content in a variety of media. Image managers are increasingly involved in inter-institutional efforts to share collections and distribute labor-intensive tasks.
VRA asserts that eliminating visual resources services carries high risk during this transitional era and does not serve an institution's broader educational mission. Current VRA President Allan Kohl states "At a time when more academic disciplines are using images as primary teaching resources, and visual literacy is increasingly understood as being central to learning, it is more important than ever to support the building of shared collections to reduce redundancy, facilitate resource sharing, increase efficiencies, and minimize costs." In fact, many institutions have begun to re-examine the appropriate administrative home of visual resources collections in response to the changes brought about by the increasing demand for digital media in pedagogy. The VRA White Paper concludes by describing several successful administrative scenarios that offer flexible options for building shared image collections and providing support for the constituents of educational and cultural institutions.