The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Elizabeth Larsen

Our People: A literature connection


Last updated 9/25/2021 at 3:59pm

Courtesy photo

If Margaret Hinchee could be a character in a book, she might choose "Anne of Green Gables," or maybe Claire Randall from "Outlander."

While Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, Arizona, and Oklahoma have all been called home by Margaret Hinchee, the Clovis native has always felt connected to the people and land of eastern New Mexico.

Hinchee's love of reading and connecting people with good literature are what inspires her.

In the last 25 years she has been a local librarian in both school and public settings. For over a decade she has been acting as the director of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

Positivity, a warm heart, and setting high expectations for herself are the secrets to her happiness, she said.

Along with librarian, mother and grandmother are her treasured titles.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your career?

A: I think the usual answer for this question is, "I like books." Well, I do love to read so there is that. I think the favorite part of my career (whether it has been in an academic library, a school library, or a public library) is having the ability to connect people with literature. Putting the just right book in the hand of a patron gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Another part of my career /current job is that I get to serve my community in this ever-growing and changing library world.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely l love about living in Clovis?

A: Clovis is my home town so I'm a Clovis girl. My father's parents homesteaded here in 1904 so I am very attached to the eastern plains of New Mexico as well as to Clovis. One of the best things that I love about Clovis is still having a personal connection with so many people. That's what being a Clovis girl is all about, I guess.

Q: How did you decide to be a librarian?

A: Ha. Let's see. I have a double bachelor's degree in English and Journalism as well as both elementary and secondary teaching endorsements. Upon graduating from Texas Christian University, I think it became very clear to me that being in a classroom was not going to cut it for me, so I started exploring different options in which I could use my background but continue to have direct people contact.

Q: If you could be a character in any book, who would you be and why?

A: Oh, that's a hard one. One of my most favorite books is "Anne of Green Gables," by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Anne is certainly a free-spirited soul and loves life to its fullest. So, maybe? I also could see me being Claire Randall from "Outlander," by Diana Gabaldon. She is a free spirit, determined soul whose journey is one to be admired.

Q: Where was the best trip you've ever been on?

A: My mom took my two sisters and me on a "southern" road trip in the spring. We started our journey in Lafayette, La., exploring the Cajun culture and getting to tour several antebellum homes in the area. We drove north on the Mississippi River, going to Vicksburg and to Natchez. The whole historic journey was amazing. The mansions were beautiful. The southern culture was delightful. The Vicksburg Cemetery is a piece of our great history that took my breath away.

Q: Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

A: I suppose a librarian's answer would be BOOKS, BOOKS and MORE BOOKS. So, yes that would probably be the one thing I would (have) to have. I also journal a lot so I would have to have a blank journal and colorful pencils to record my adventures.

Q: What would you do if you won the lottery?

A: I would visit all of the great lodges for all the National Parks. That is probably the first on my list. Other things I would love to do if funds were not a problem are taking all kind(s) of "America" cruises - like the one that goes on the Snake and Missouri Rivers, exploring the Lewis and Clark journey. There are also Mississippi River cruises and New England cruises that really appeal to me.

Q: What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

A: I don't think of myself as very daring ... I decided to zip line in Ruidoso several years ago without anyone knowing. I don't know which thrilled me most ... going on a "secret" adventure, or the actual activity.

I think I'd like to do a "dude ranch" adventure as long as there was lots of wine at the end of the day.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?

A: Oh gee ... I have received advice throughout my life. Eleanor Roosevelt's most famous line/word of wisdom was, "Do one thing every day that scares you." So, I try to always do a little something out of the ordinary each day. Some days I really "step out of the box," while other days I may simply peek around a corner.


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