How many times have you said that to someone not really thinking it could reasonably happen anytime soon? These were exactly my words and thoughts when saying goodbye to Mirela Roncevic last May after seeing her at Book Expo America in New York City. Mirela had just recently left her job at Library Journal where she had been Reference Editor since 2004. Mirela and her husband decided that having grown up in Croatia before coming to New York City half-a-life-time-ago, they would move family and careers back to their native Croatia—a big move. Mirela took on electronic publishing assignments with a publisher in Zagreb and her husband found suitable work as well.
I remember the first time I met Mirela back in January of 2005. Becky Fishman, xrefer’s head of marketing communications at the time took me to New York City to meet Mary Kay Jezzini. The three of us then stopped in to Library Journal where we met Mirela.
Over the following 5 years in our differing but related spheres of work Mirela and I each took on “reference” as our life’s work.
Mirela, as Library Journal’s Editor for Reference built up Library Journal’s coverage of all things reference, not only covering reviews of current reference works, but also taking on a comprehensive review of the more than 250 electronic reference products that emerged for libraries in that time.
In parallel I took on transforming xrefer into Credo Reference which has continued to grow and prosper and is now one of the leading online reference resources in the industry. It was natural to think that someday our paths would cross again.
Who could guess that just two months after BEA that, indeed, our paths did cross again. In late July my wife, Gloria, and I were taken on a driving vacation by our son, Michael, and his girlfriend, Jorga Hanasová, who live in Zvolen, Slovakia. Their plan was to drive south, through Hungary into Croatia ending up on the Dalmatian Coast. When I saw the map I could see that our path would take us directly through Zagreb.
Mirela met us for lunch. She gave us the perfect advice about which seaside town to stay at given our time constraints. Mirela continues to do publishing work in Zagreb but has now also taken on an assignment for IGI Global as their editor-in-chief for a book series, “Advances in Library Information and Research”.
Any conversation with Mirala reveals clearly that she is not just a Croat, but a New Yorker, too. This time when we parted we again said, “I’m sure our paths will cross again.” I’m betting on the possibility that it will be in New York City.