The announcement that the Thomson Corporation has put Thomson Learning on the block shouldn’t change the service that libraries get from the division’s Thomson Gale subsidiary, according to Gordon Macomber, Thomson Gale president. "In the last several weeks, we’ve been on a concerted effort to contact our customer base," Macomber told LJ. "What we’re hearing is positive all around. It’s giving us a chance to get back into a dialog with our customers about how important they are, how important they’ve been, and how important they are going forward." Would Thomson Gale be sold separately? Thomson has said it would sell the division as a whole, even though some subsidiaries may not have too much to do with each other. Macomber said, "As far as I understand, Thomson wishes to sell all of Thomson Learning at one time."
Would this happen in the first quarter of 2007, as has been suggested? "These timelines take their own course," said Macomber, who added, "The first quarter sounds early, based on what’s happened historically." He said the news hasn’t changed plans or investment or staffing patterns at Thomson Gale: "We’re increasing investment to build product, and to deliver product. Planning short- and long-term continues unchanged." He cited the mid-November release, in print and electronic form, of the second edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica. As for the 36-month-old Gale Virtual Reference Library, which contains about 80 percent in-house product and 20 percent aggregated from other sources, Macomber said it would remain unaffected.