Mychal Threets’ library joy
February 24, 2024 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Solano county librarian wants everyone to feel welcome and love the library.

After gaining popularity online for his warm and engaging videos, including an attempt at starting a scholastic book fair for adults (at your local bar), Mychal is now stepping back to prioritize his mental health.
posted by St. Peepsburg (26 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I love him! He's so delightful!
posted by Kitteh at 9:35 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]

Good for him. He has done us all proud and I'm sure he will continue to in whatever path he chooses.
posted by jessamyn at 9:55 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]

That dude is inspiring.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:42 AM on February 24

This fellow seems like a first-rate human being and I hope he's able to get to where he wants to be in terms of his mental health, but as a public librarian I can't help but wonder about why he's resigning and if it has anything to do with the aspects of the job (and not just the public-facing ones) that can really mess with your emotional wellbeing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:49 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]

WaPo has a bit more context. In short, his videos were popular on social media and he got plenty of support, but he also started receiving a bunch of really nasty harassment after a red-pill podcaster whacko called attention to him.
posted by teraflop at 11:20 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]

FFS. All the best to people like him who endeavor to confront online hate with empathy and kindness, because I don't have it in me.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:33 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]

I hate how if you do anything online now, EVEN SUPPORT LIBRARIES, you get stalked and harassed.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:48 AM on February 24 [17 favorites]

There have always been lots of people who hate public libraries: they don't use them, but they have to pay taxes to support them, so of course libraries are a huge waste of money that could be spent widening the roads or something.
posted by pracowity at 12:02 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]

Love that guy. He’s the best.
posted by chococat at 1:05 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]

His reels pop up on my instagram feed and he's such a lovely Mr. Rogers kind of guy, I am so sad that he felt he had to resign from his library job because of online hate. He was a good story-teller. His real target audience was kids, there's no reason for red-pill whackos to feel threatened by him. It's like harassing Captain Kangaroo.
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:15 PM on February 24 [9 favorites]

This is not a hit at Solano County Libraries because I know nothing whatever about them, but... I wish we as a profession were better at having one another's backs.

I was in academic rather than public libraries, and my achievements weren't anything like as important or beautiful as Mychal's, but... I vibed with the sense of "this is so important but I can't do it any more" that I got from his last video.

I might have been able to keep going if I thought my colleagues wanted me to, wanted to lend a hand now and then, would be willing to speak up for me. But they didn't. They sure didn't.

I wish Mychal everything important and beautiful he deserves. Which is everything important and beautiful.
posted by humbug at 1:40 PM on February 24 [18 favorites]

He seems like a great guy. Thanks for posting about him. I hadn't heard of him and am glad to do so.

I read in the article that he was homeschooled as a child; I'm so glad public libraries were so helpful to him in his educational path!
posted by brainwane at 1:40 PM on February 24

Yes humbug...I once wanted to work in academia, until I heard enough stories that changed my mind.
posted by Czjewel at 1:49 PM on February 24

I love this guy! I'm sad he's stepping back, but if he needs to, he needs to. I fear it's because the assholes on the interwebs, and once again find myself thinking "this is why we can't have nice things."

Wishing him the best, and thankful for the time he shared with us.
posted by cccorlew at 2:03 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]

I'll be honest, this is yet another nail in the coffin of human decency. I cannot fathom how someone could be so dead inside that they feel like this is a person that needs to be mocked. Even if he's over the top (he's not), even if you think he's weird (who cares), even if you think libraries are a waste of tax payer money (you're the waste), there is no reason for you to take those feelings public and out yourself has the miserable excuse for a human that you are. I sincerely hope that everyone who said an unkind thing about this man find themselves in a public toilet with an ass-full of poop and no toilet paper to be found...for the rest of their lives.

That said, he's a credit to our profession and I hope he's able to find a way to return and continue giving amazing joy to people. And if not, I hope he's well cared for by people who love and respect him.
posted by teleri025 at 2:16 PM on February 24 [17 favorites]

Mychal is a treasure and we're so lucky to be in a world with him. Sadly, I'm not surprised by the trolling. As soon as I started seeing his content, my first reaction was "I give him 6 months. A year at most." That's how cynical and despairing I've become. But enough about me: I wish him the best, and I'm so glad he's taking time for self-care instead of trying to "hustle" it through. Safe travels, friend!
posted by johnxlibris at 3:10 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]

Is there nothing that some wacko bunch of assholes don't want to fuck up?
Apparently, we don't deserve nice things. I wish him the best.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:48 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]

The incel that kicked off the harassment is Josh Lekach's post and this isn't the first time he's harassed someone. Last September he went after a women who had posted being childfree.
posted by zenon at 4:42 PM on February 24

I wish we as a profession were better at having one another's backs.

Yep, agree.
posted by jessamyn at 5:13 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]

If there were a Mr. Rogers Award for Kindness & Just Being an Outstanding Human,
I would nominate Mr. Mychal Threets.
Wishing him the best and I hope we hear from him in the not-so-distant future.
posted by calgirl at 5:53 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]

KQED interview w/transcript from November. He seems like a lovely person, and I wish this was a medical leave and not a resignation.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:53 PM on February 24

Mychal is always so careful with his language. He always refers to "library kid" and their "library grown up." In one video he accidentally called the adult a mom or a dad and immediately corrected himself. He has so many charms and that is one - being so inclusive when it would be easy and unremarkable to make an assumption.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:10 PM on February 25 [7 favorites]

As an ex public librarian, I was charmed by his enthusiasm and passion for the business. But in my opinion, public libraries are exhausting, disappointing places to work. They, like schools, attract authoritarian leadership, which is bad for decent public service. Like any job that works with the public, you bear the brunt of people's bad days and inner rage--because you have to smile and take it. Too many petty tyrants ruin the whole experience. I still believe in public libraries, I think they are important places and helpful for a lot of people, but they can be horrible places to work.
posted by mareliz at 7:46 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]

> They, like schools, attract authoritarian leadership, which is bad for decent public service.

Non-librarians are never really surprised when I tell them stories about negative occurrences and interactions I and my colleagues have with the public, but when I tell them about what the managerial culture here is like...
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:07 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]

Co-signed. Since my username is also my real name I won't go into details but it seems like places can be either wonderful places of growth and learning or, depending a LOT on management and less-so about patrons, really difficult places to work and thrive in. I work with a lot of Vermont libraries and a lot of these places are night and day from each other depending on who is in charge. I hope Mychal was well-supported at his library but I know there is a bit of "tall poppy syndrome" within librarianship.
posted by jessamyn at 12:10 PM on February 26 [5 favorites]

Mod note: We've reserved this bit of human sunshine over on the Sidebar and Best Of blog!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 6:39 AM on February 28

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