The Visual Image User Study (VIUS), an extensive needs assessment project at Penn State University, describes academic users of pictures and their perceptions. These findings outline the potential market for digital images and list the likely determinates of whether or not a system will be used. They also explain some key user requirements for teaching, independent learning, and collection management. The importance of picture collections maintained by individuals is underscored, as is the desire of users to easily mix pictures from their collections with those from databases and other sources. Two prototypical services were tested: an image database service and a more experimental peer-to-peer system named LionShare.