Judy Murphy has worked as the librarian at Masters since before many students at the school were even born. Although Murphy will be retiring, in her 16 years here, she has made a great impact as an advisor, teacher and book enthusiast.
Prior to coming to Masters, Murphy worked on Wall Street as a broker and on the trading floor dealing with corporate bonds. After 14 years, she decided to leave the stressful environment of her busy Manhattan job to tackle the role of a library clerk at the Briarcliff Manor public library. Murphy also worked as a librarian in the Irvington and Garrison school districts before coming to Masters in 2005.
During her time at Masters, Murphy was an advisor to clubs such as Young Activists, and she initiated the parent association book club, the annual middle school book fairs, and co-founded the Westchester Poetry Festival with Former Associate Head of Upper School Chris Goulian.
The festival in particular attracts many students from around the County each year, and this year featured award-winning poet Reginald Dwayne Betts as the keynote speaker.
“I always tried to make it a priority that it would be student-centered so that our kids would get a chance to read at the festival,” Murphy said.
Besides organizing events and clubs, Murphy enjoys interacting with students in both the Upper School and Middle School.
“I see my job as very responsive. If there was an inquiry that came in from a student like ‘Oh, do we have a book on such and such?’ then I will go and fulfill whatever inquiries that might come up during the day.” Murphy continued, “I love engaging with the middle schoolers, too, because they are still really avid readers. I love when they come up and offer me suggestions of what books we should have [in the library].”
Ben New and Charlie Cooper, both advisees of Murphy, said they have enjoyed the time they spent with her and appreciate her thoughtfulness and kindness.
Cooper said, “She always comes in smiling and is happy to see us. She’s always interested in all of us and is always here to support us. That’s all you can ask [an advisor] for.”
New echoed Cooper’s words. He said, “Every single day she’ll ask us, ‘How’s everyone doing?’ or ‘How are we feeling today?’ She really tries to bring the most out of us, and that’s something I’m definitely gonna miss.”
Looking back over her years at Masters, Murphy said she was impressed with the brightness of her students and the selflessness of her colleagues.
“It’s really been a joy to be able to sort and oversee the resources here and just to enlighten, light a fire for somebody, and feed their curiosity,” she said.