Felicity Murphy

2018 Ken Haycock Award Recipient

Felicity Murphy is the head of student services at the James E. Faust Law Library located on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She teaches legal research to first year law students, provides faculty research support, and pursues her own scholarship and publishing interests.

Murphy earned a B.A. in English Teaching from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. She is graduating in May 2018 with a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the San José State University School of Information.

In fifth grade, Murphy took a career test that revealed a potential aptitude for librarianship. She remembers being so pleased. She loved to read, her favorite aunt was a librarian, and she always felt safe and welcome at her local public library. Time passed and that test became a distant memory.

A richly diverse professional and educational career that included nine years as a high school English teacher and a law degree finally brought her back to the results of that aptitude test. Having graduated law school amidst the devastating financial crisis and being more interested in helping people than litigating, she began looking at her employment options. Instead of joining a law firm, like most of her classmates, she opted to take a fellowship position with the law library at her alma mater. It did not take long for her to realize that the library is where she belonged.

Following her fellowship, she was hired as a tenure-track law librarian, which included library functions such as reference, teaching, and collection development. Although she had an excellent foundation in the law and educational design, she knew she had a lot to learn about information science and librarianship. In order to become a truly effective law librarian, she needed to pursue additional education. This pursuit led her to the MLIS program at San José State University School of Information

Completing her academic coursework at SJSU has led to amazing opportunities for Murphy to publish and present in her field. An assignment in her Reference Services class sparked her interest in analyzing the reference service model employed at her institution. This analysis translated into a co-authored piece, “The Reference Assistant,” that won the American Association of Law Libraries/ LexisNexis Call for Papers Award: New Member Division and will be published in 2018 in the Law Library Journal. It also afforded her the opportunity to present the paper with her co-author at the 2017 AALL National Convention in Austin, Texas.

Murphy is also very active in organizations that support librarianship. She has served on the AALL Conference of Newer Law Librarians Committee mentoring new law librarians. She is currently serving as a member of AALL’s Scholarships and Awards Committee that provides financial support to those interested in pursuing a career in law librarianship and of which she was a grateful recipient of generous support during her education.

Passionate about education and justice, Murphy is particularly interested in efforts to make legal information more accessible to the public. As an information professional, she believes she has a lot to contribute toward making this a reality for the community she serves.

In her spare time, Murphy enjoys playing tennis, reading, and binge-watching “The Great British Baking Show.” She is looking forward to touring Ireland with her mom following graduation. She is profoundly grateful for the support of her parents, siblings, friends and colleagues, as she has pursued her MLIS degree. On a personal note, “Aunt Felicity” wants her 10 amazing nieces and nephews to know that if they have a dream, work hard, and strive to help others, they can have a happy and fulfilling life.