Finn and Murphy, Lakewood Library

JCPL's Volunteers of the Month for April 2024

For the past few years, the Lakewood Teen Advisory Board (TAB) has been heavily influenced by the presence of Finn and Murphy — as well as their younger sibling, Locklan.

"I was really struck by their camaraderie as siblings and how friendly they were with me and other staff," Lakewood teen librarian Nicole recounts. "I think they've been roasting me and giving me a hard time ever since, but in a fun and hilarious way."

Nicole first met Finn, Murphy and Locklan at a JCPL After Hours teen event not long after she became a teen librarian, quickly learning that Finn and Murphy's good-natured snark is the essential glue in the siblings' relationship. Despite the constant roasts of each other (and everyone else), it is immediately clear how much they genuinely enjoy spending time together.

"We just hang out a bit," Murphy quips. "We know each other pretty well."

Set to graduate high school this May, Finn plans to study political science or psychology in college. His favorite subject is English, but he likes most of his classes. When he's not studying or volunteering, Finn spends most of his time gaming — both siblings play esports competitively for their team, The Bad Decisions.

"Sometimes we go to tournaments and lose to 30-year-old men in a party game for children," Finn says with a laugh.

Murphy is in 10th grade and dabbles in many interests.

"I like to draw. I like to rock climb. I also play video games. I like to hang out with my siblings — for the most part. I love art. I do school stuff, theater, what have you. I'm really well-rounded, you know," Murphy jokes.

Both Finn and Murphy love to read. Murphy's go-to genre is dystopian sci-fi, with "They Both Die at the End" and "Magnus Chase: The Ship of the Dead" as a few favorites. Finn dabbles in a bit of every genre and recommends "Uzumaki," "A Short History of Nearly Everything" and "Ptolemy's Gate."

"Dang, no Magic School Bus?" Murphy teases.

"I'm very advanced," Finn retorts.

TAB allows them both to be their authentic selves while contributing to their community and making new friends.

"I get to harass a librarian without being judged," Finn jokes.

"I like to help the librarian," Murphy counters. "I like to crack jokes, because that's the kind of quirky guy I am."

"I am not quirky," Finn objects. "I want that to be known."

Jokes and quirks aside, the siblings appreciate that they've learned a lot about JCPL, get to participate in fun events and enjoy plenty of the free snacks, which are perks for volunteers. They have also gained valuable leadership experience, which looks great on a resume. Open to teens ages 12 - 18, TAB members meet once a month to plan teen events. These meetings are ostensibly held for planning purposes, but there is a social element to the gatherings as well.

"We talk about organizing events," Murphy says.

"Sometimes we talk about organizing events," Finn corrects.

"We do get off track sometimes," Murphy admits.

"Very occasionally," Finn adds dryly. "Extremely rarely."

"We try to talk about events, and then it spirals away from that topic. TAB is fun but kind of chaos," Murphy concludes sagely.  

Though the siblings lightheartedly dismiss the impact they make on JCPL, Nicole knows how much their presence at meetings and events helps make the Library a fun and safe space for other teens.

"Finn and Murphy are super welcoming to people who aren't in TAB," Nicole says. "I call Murphy the mayor sometimes because they'll wave to people as they leave and start icebreakers whenever there's a lull." 

"Finn is always the first to ask if I need help with anything and is the one to get us back on track during TAB meetings," she continues. "I get so much enjoyment out of my conversations with them, and they also contribute greatly to TAB and create a great environment for other teens to walk into."  

We appreciate your humor, wit and openness, Finn and Murphy! You help make Lakewood teen events welcoming and hilarious.