Library hosting history display

CNJ staff photo: Benna Sayyed Clovis-Carver Public Library Director Margaret Hinchee, left, and Friends of Clovis-Carver Public Library President Carolyn Shipley, right, discuss sifting through early Curry County photos to select for the library’s upcoming Clovis history display. The photos will be organized in categories such as the evolution of Clovis’ Main Street, the history of farming in Curry County and early Curry County residents.

Benna Sayyed

The Clovis-Carver Public Library will soon offer a look at how Clovis has grown over the last century in a historical exhibit made up of pictures, artwork and old photographs.

The exhibit will commemorate the history of Clovis and Curry County and include a bit of state history.

According to Clovis-Carver Public Library Director Margaret Hinchee, visitors can expect to see old photos showcasing the evolution of Clovis’ Main Street, the history of farming in Curry County, historical buildings in Clovis, profiles of early Curry County residents and photos of the library’s previous locations.

“There was quite a historical presence in this town and I think people still want that presence to be known,” Hinchee said.

“I think if you build it, they will come. If we can display some great pictures people will come and say ‘oh yeah, I remember that.’ It’s important to retain the history of Clovis and to give a sense of how it’s developing,” Hinchee said.

“I think a lot of Clovis residents are committed to the growth of this town in relation to the historic presence that this town has had over the last 100 years.”

The Friends of Clovis-Carver Public Library will offer a book sale to kick off the historical display. The book sale will allow visitors to choose from thousands of books and walk out with as many as they can stuff into a shopping bag for 50 cents.

Members of Friends of Clovis-Carver Public Library will soon examine early Curry County photos and select the ones to be framed and displayed. The exhibit will be held in the library’s front lobby in a number of large planter boxes. It will grow with the selection of additional photos. The start date of the display will be decided in a Friends of Clovis-Carver Public Library meeting held Thursday at 10 a.m. in the library’s Ingram Room. The meeting is open to the public.

“We don’t have a historical museum. We don’t have a history place in Clovis. That is very rare for a town of our size and our importance,” said Friends of Clovis-Carver Public Library President Carolyn Shipley.

“This town was founded in 1906 before statehood. The railroads came first and then the feed yards and the banking. So this was the city of eastern New Mexico. This is just a small opening in to what could be a larger presence somewhere.”

Friends of Clovis-Carver Public Library is a non-profit organization that supports programs at the library that are not paid for by tax dollars. It supports much of the library’s children’s programs, and sponsors supplies and programs the library needs that are not in its public budget.

According to Shipley, the Clovis-Carver Public Library started in the early 1950s with a donation from Dr. John Randolph Carver and around 2,000 books. The library’s collection now has 140,000 items including everything from the latest fiction to state documents to historical works to an extensive children’s collection. Shipley said the library is moving into the world of e-books and will receive more technology within the next two months.