Mychal Threets Brings Library Joy to His Social Media Followers

 In colorful shirts and with a contagious excitement about the library, the supervising librarian of the Fairfield Civic Center branch of the Solano County (CA) Library system posts about the little library moments that can have a big impact. 

Screenshot: @Mychal3ts (TikTok). iPhone: amitus/Getty Images

With his colorful shirts, authenticity, and palpable excitement, Fairfield (CA) Civic Center Library supervising librarian Mychal Threets has become something of a social media star, sharing everyday stories from his library on TikTok (mychal3ts), Instagram (mychal3ts), and X (@mychal3ts). His videos, which are mostly the little moments that can have a big impact, showcase the reasons he loves working in a library and the transformative power of the institution.

His online presence has gotten so big, he was even recognized as “that library guy” at San Diego Comic-Con.

“I’m not a big fan of attention, I just like pushing the library world,” says Threets. “It was very cool that people connect me to the library. I’m like, ‘Oh, good, you’re listening.’ It’s very strange to see all the responses, but I love all the messages I get. ... As overwhelming as it is, it’s cool to see how many people are remembering that the local library exists, taking advantage of all those resources, and trying to make their kids library kids.”

Threets has been a library kid since he was young. He doesn't remember the first time he went, but he'll never forget bringing his cat to the library pet parade. (A story he admits he retells frequently. "I was so proud," he says.) He got his first library card at the age of five. Recently, his mom told him they got it for him because their family was checking out so many books, they needed the extra card to be able to take home more.

Despite spending so much time at his local branch when he was young, working at the library wasn’t always his career aspiration.

“The library was never something that I saw myself in as a kid and a teenager,” he says. “I literally just stumbled into it."

About 10 years ago, Threets was going through a period of depression and at the library reading when "it just came to me."

"I asked the librarian at the desk, how [do] you work for the library?" he says. "She kind of smiled. She happened to already have the site pulled up.”

The library worker told Threets that she knew he was going to ask. Then she explained how he could apply. Not long after, Threets got a job as a shelver. He did that for about two years before being promoted to library aide.

“The promotion is what spiraled me into a career [in the library],” he says. “As I applied for that job, I told myself ‘If I get this job, I'm probably gonna be a library person for life.’”

Over the last 10 years, he has been a shelver, library aide, library assistant, library associate, children’s librarian, and marketing librarian—where he really learned the power of social media to promote the library. Now, he is a supervising librarian for his branch.

“Being candid, this is definitely the hardest job I've ever had in the library,” he says. “You deal with everything—you deal with the good, you deal with the bad, you deal with the monotony. But also, as a supervisor, I love the job because I am responsible for a library team.”

Unlike the marketing position, which was more behind-the-scenes, he is happy to be back interacting with patrons and staff every day, which is his favorite part of the job. Being part of such a public-facing position has another big upside for Threets.

“I just want to show kids of color that the library is a place where they can be,” he says. “I still see kids this year who come up to me and [say], ‘You're Black. I didn't know that people of color—Black people, Hispanic people—could work the library.’ They're not saying it is forbidden, but it's not something you see every day. And that's something that's still happening in 2023 in Solano County, which is one of the most diverse places in America.”

His presence and position also have an impact on the adults who come in with the kids.

“It's kind of cool for their grown-ups to see because when they ask for a supervisor, I'm not who they expect with my puffy, frizzy hair and colorful Hawaiian shirts and my various tattoos,” he says.

Threets leads the diversity, equity, and inclusion team for the Solano County system, but his focus for children of color is on something more.

“As important as equity, diversity, inclusion is, belonging is so much more important,” he says.

Threets wants to show kids of color that a library is not just a place where they are welcome, but someplace they are meant to be, where they can thrive and truly belong.

As much joy as he brings his social media followers, Threets is also honest about his lifelong battle with anxiety and depression. While he is often the “happy-go-lucky” person depicted in so many of his posts, there are also what he calls “dark times,” and he doesn’t hide that. Threets frequently receives appreciative messages from followers who share their mental health struggles.

“They’re like, 'Oh, I have anxiety and depression. Thank you for being real. Thank you for talking about it,'” he says. “I think it just opens up the door for people to have conversations that need to be had so that we can all keep on surviving and persevering together."


A post shared by Mychal (@mychal3ts)

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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (, @karayorio) is senior news editor at School Library Journal.

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