The Last Book on the Left
If you walk into the library and go all the way down to level 1, enter the Social Sciences area, walk as far to the east as you can, then turn left and walk to the end of the stacks you come to the eastern-most book in the building. It’s the last book on the lowest shelf and it’s titled From the Heart of the Crow Country: The Crow Indians’ Own Stories. It is one of those books that are written by someone who is both well educated and enthusiastic about their subject. The Author, Joseph Medicine Crow graduated from Bacone College and the University of Southern California. He was born and grew up in a time when the old story tellers and oral historians were still alive.
This book has maps and photos, history and legends. It has been circulated many times and studied carefully. That leads us to a problem. It appears that several of the people who enjoyed this book were a little too caught up in their research to practice good study skills. Many of the pages have underlined passages and words circled in ink. Black and blue ballpoint writing in the margins has defaced, albeit with scholarly intentions, a very nice book. At least in the last few chapters, From M.M. to M.D. (From Medicine Man to Doctor of Medicine), The Crow Fair, and Crow Indian Humor, the underlining is in pencil. With time, patience and care the pencil can be erased and its damage reduced. We hope that a lesson can be learned from this book. No matter how much good information is in a book we expect you write to your notes in a notebook or enter them on your computer so that the next reader can enjoy a clean copy of the book just as you did.
By the way, if you go to the other end of the stacks, as far to the right as you can go and pick the book at the beginning of the top shelf you will find The Way of the Warrior: Stories of the Crow People, compiled and translated by Henry Old Coyote and Barney Old Coyote Jr. There is no underlining in this book.