This week’s story from summer vacation comes to us from Ph.D. student Emily Roehl, who is beating the heat in Austin by resting in the shade of very tall stacks of books.
In addition to working as a Public Services Intern at the Harry Ransom Center this summer, I am finishing my preparations for oral exams. What this means is that when I am done retrieving books and manuscripts for patrons in the reading room each day, I hop on over to the PCL or Fine Arts Library to do the same thing for myself. There’s nothing like plopping down at a big, clean desk with a stack of books and a sore arm and getting down to work. But I’ll be honest–I could do without the sore arm, so I like to keep my books on campus and avoid the long, hot walk home with pounds and pounds of paper. So instead of stacking up my books on my desk so I can look at them fondly, I put them all here: in a Tumblr site that uses the Otlet’s Shelf theme to organize links from Amazon. It’s nice to be able to see all my books in one place, and I can add tags to organize the titles by theme. I haven’t yet mastered the art of Zotero or Omeka, which are other great digital archiving tools, but I love my Tumblr and would recommend the Otlet’s Shelf theme to anyone who would like to organize their own stacks of books online (and save themselves a sore arm).