Around the Globe with Margaret and Mirela

At the end of March, among my emails was one with the subject "Reed Business Information Recognition Award Notification." "Congratulations on your 5 Year anniversary with Reed Business Information!" it declared. "In recognition of your valued dedication, and contributions to our company, we would like to offer you a gift."  

"This service award is our way of saying ‘Thank you,’" the posting continued, instructing me to click the applicable anniversary on the left of the screen to see my gift options. There on the left were anniversaries ranging from 5th to 55th! I’d just snuck in under the wire before LJ ceased being a property of RBI (we are now a part of Media Source Inc. as Francine Fialkoff explained in her April 1 LJ editorial).  

Because I handle books with topics that range around the globe, I picked a "Replogle Adams 9" Raised Relief Globe, featuring a natural finish hardwood base" as my gift. That’s it, above left.

Yes, it reflects the scope of my review subjects at LJ, but I also picked it so I could reflect on the journey of Mirela Roncevic, LJ‘s senior editor for arts, humanities and reference in the LJ book review. She was at LJ for 12 years (she opted for the duffle bag at 5 years and the Amex gift card at 10) before choosing to leave last month.

My globe duly arrived at home, complete with instructions ("How to Use and Enjoy Your Globe"). I decided to enjoy it at once by spinning it around to Croatia.  
In my grade school geography years Croatia had not existed. I now contemplated it, its shape conjuring for me a seahorse in profile, who, for unknown reasons, is sporting an immense cape that floats aloft, no doubt because of those Adriatic winds.  

I looked for Zagreb. There it is, on the seahorse’s cape. And that’s where Mirela will be, come June, back in the country of her birth.  She will be the publishing director (trade divison) at Skolska Knjiga, the largest publishing house in Southeastern Europe. In that position, she’ll be overseeing the adult, children’s, foreign, and reference departments—she has already overseen the acquisition of Justin Cronin’s The Passage, the June book from Ballantine with major buzz behind it (see LJ review here).

While Mirela is busy before her departure for Croatia, working as a consultant to both Salem Press and IGI Global on a couple of library-related endeavors, her former position, now titled "Editor, reference, ebook, and digital products" has been posted (see it here and spread the word!). 

I love working at LJ, and feel blessed to be a part of its endeavors. I miss Mirela, and I know that whoever takes on the new position will be nothing like her–because she’s one of a kind–yet I look forward to the adventures ahead for us all!

Margaret Heilbrun About Margaret Heilbrun

Margaret Heilbrun is a former Senior Editor, Library Journal Book Review.


  1. Brian Couuts says:

    Mirela was a joy to work with, an editor who always improved your works, and could say in a few words what some of us take paragraphs to get across. We wish her well in her new endeavors. With one of the largest Bosnian and Croatian populations in the US now living in Warren County, KY we may have a market for her new books.

  2. Ellen Bates says:

    I didn’t know she had left and so I want to thank Mirela for all the beautiful art books she sent me and wish her all the best in her new venture.

  3. Traci A says:

    Thanks for this post, Margaret! She is phenomenal and loved and will be really missed by those who worked with her. Way to go, Mirela – you’re going home. I am so happy for you.

  4. Jennifer Pollock says:


    I’ve been a regular reviewer of art books for LJ for 5 years. I had no idea Mirela was leaving! While I am very happy for her, I am bereft of all happinesss as I will no longer be in regular contact with her. She will be missed. ~Jennifer Pollock, Head of the DAAP Library, University of Cincinnati

  5. Karl Helicher says:

    In my 28 years as an LJ reviewer, Mirela and I have crossed paths a few times. She was always a delight with whom to work, and I see from the above posts how much she was valued as an editor by her reviewers. AND a big congratulations to you too, Margaret! You have always sent me intersting and timely books, and your editing has significantly improved my reviews
    Congratulations and many Milk Bones for you and Mirela!

  6. Nadine says:

    I never got to meet Mirela in person, but she’s always been fun over email! Sounds like a great opportunity for her!

  7. Anon says:

    A huge loss for LJ. Mirela was a triple scoop of amazing covered in awesome sauce.

  8. Purdy says:

    I’ll miss our lunches at A Voce. Best of luck Mirela

  9. Robert Kelly says:

    Onward, Mirela! Now, I wonder, will the new editor sends me academic tomes as you did? Nonetheless, my best thoughts to you anywhere you wander: the green hills of Croatia, the vast world of publishing,motherhood. — By the way I’ve written a novel that Random House turned down but it showed “promise.” Robert Kelly

  10. Dave K. says:

    Just don’t YOU leave!

  11. Gayle Williamson says:

    Thank you so much for this update on Mirela. We have a large Croatian population in San Pedro, California and in the past the Friends of San Pedro Library have purchased Croatian language books for our library. We had a hard time acquiring these books, so perhaps in Mirela’s new position, she’ll be a contact (or be willing to provide a contact) for purchasing more.