To the Editor

Corrections or additions?

This column was prepared for the March 19, 2003 edition of U.S. 1

Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

It was a Sunday night, a night when you don’t want to

be working anyway, and the boss had a question about a story —

a charming account about how philanthropist Herbert Axelrod is giving

rare violins to the New Jersey Symphony (page 26). It was an arts

story, already laden with business details, including how Axelrod

built his business and how he sold it. To whom, and for how much,

the boss wanted to know. Not an easy question, since the sale took

place five years ago and any information on publicity-shy Axelrod

is scant. Freelancer Elaine Strauss had already pawed up the earth

to even get an interview with Axelrod’s attorney.

Our editor had come in put in some extra time on the Business

Directory (U.S. 1’s March Madness) but got intrigued by this research

adventure. Surfing the web wasn’t helpful. There were too many

references to too many Axelrods. And you can’t call the source, a law

office, on a Sunday night.

Inspiration struck. Just last week a brochure had come from the New

Jersey State Library touting its after hours reference capabilities.

It has replaced its vaunted night-time telephone service with a

24-hour

online reference desk. Go to the web page — www.qandanj.org

and type in a question for a professional librarian, who answers the

question in chat form.

U.S. 1: I’m on deadline editing a story about Herbert

Axelrod. Who bought his pet book publishing company, TFH Publishing,

in 1997?

Mary/SJRLC: Please hold. I am searching and will get back

to you with the results shortly.

After several minutes Mary from the South Jersey Research

Library

Consortium did find something — a web page showing that TFH

Publications

had another company that manufactured dog treats. She also referred

the question to the day librarian who has access to additional

databases.

And at 9:40 a.m. on Monday, just in time to make last-minute changes

in the copy, Alka B., senior reference librarian in Camden, sent the

results of a paid section of Hoover’s Online: California-based Central

Garden and Pet Company, a publicly-traded supplier to Wal-Mart, had

paid $132 million for TFH Publications, one of the nation’s largest

producers of pet books and maker of Nylabone dog snacks, and Kaytee

Products, a maker of bird seed.

The best part about that Sunday night was "talking" through

E-mail to somebody else who was working on Sunday night — and

getting the right answers.

Top Of Page
To the Editor

THANK YOU for the incredible coverage of the Plainsboro Preserve

(February

26). We have been in the throes of preparing the building for opening.

If all goes well, we should have a soft opening in early May, then

a gala celebration on June 14, with walks, programs, and activities

for all ages.

The article was a fabulous tribute to the Preserve and the niche it

will fill in the lives of residents. I hope we can continue a working

relationship that shares the wonders of the Preserve with your

readers.

Brian Vernachio

Sanctuary director, New Jersey Audubon Society


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