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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Mychal Threets won’t let trolls take his ‘library joy’

Amanda Riha

When I think of the word “hero,” some occupations come to my mind: teachers, doctors, firefighters and first responders are a few.

But now, I can confidently add “librarian” to that list, and it’s all thanks to Mychal Threets.

Threets is a librarian from Fairfield, California, who worked at the Solano County Library — the library that he used to go to as a child. He worked his way up from shelving books to library supervisor.

The reason I wrote “worked” is because he no longer does. He announced his resignation on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Feb. 23 to prioritize his mental health.

He resigned not because of some terrible scandal, but because he was a victim of cyberbullies and trolls on social media.

How I, and many others, learned about Threets was via his massive social media presence. He has hundreds of thousands of followers on X, Instagram and TikTok, and with that inevitably comes trolls.

But I’ll never understand why, besides the fact that some people are just miserable.

Nearly all of his posts show him exuding “library joy,” — good things he’s seen or experienced at the library — promoting literacy or telling a wholesome story of an interaction he had at the library.

For example, Threets posted on Feb. 22 a story about a “library kid”’s enthusiasm when Threets gave him a signed copy of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: No Brainer.”

But despite the overwhelming positivity, people online still took the chance to jump on Threets.

“Love that y’all ‘ride at dawn’ on my behalf! Please don’t go after people who resort to darkness as they pursue their light,” Threets wrote on Feb. 24 on X in response to the bullying. “If I’d left my library because of people ‘being mean’ I’d have left long ago. Does it hurt? Sure! I’m human.”

First off, I’m amazed at the kindness that Threets expresses himself with, even at a low point in his life. I think the strongest people in the world are the kindest — Threets, Fred Rogers, Dolly Parton and Bob Ross, to name a few.

It’s easy to be mean and throw the negative emotions you feel on to others. It’s tougher to express that healthily and be kind.

Secondly, it makes me furious to see someone as wholesome and kind as Threets be bullied. Why would you ever cyberbully someone who’s doing good and promoting something constructive like literacy?

Public libraries are crucial to U.S. communities and offer computers, free internet, printing, movies and even musical instruments to check out and borrow.

They provide a quiet place to work and a cozy getaway from the hectic outside world. After all, I wrote this article in Hamden’s Miller Memorial Library and Quinnipiac University’s Law Library.

But libraries — especially the 16,607 public libraries in the U.S. — find themselves in the middle of the culture wars that divide the country.

Republican lawmakers and some parents are pushing for banning books that focus on race and sexuality in public and school libraries. Libraries, and specifically librarians, are at center stage for politicians and parents’ wrath.

So it’s amazing to me to see Threets courageously advocating for literacy and more people to get library cards, and have some fun with it.

He even joked about banned books, comparing the spreading of them to a drug deal.

Which again, brings me back to my anger toward the cyberbullies and trolls online.

If there’s a space that so many people value, that’s ever-crucial to our democracy and is also just fun, then why would you feel the need to hate on someone advocating for it?

Because he’s different? He’s not like you? He’s passionate about something a lot of people don’t care about? Why? It confuses me.

Threets’ last day at the Solano County Library was March 1, but this chapter in his life doesn’t end negatively.

The Public Broadcasting Service noticed Threets’ social media presence, and decided to collaborate with him. Threets became PBS Kids “resident librarian” on social media.

That way, Threets can still be a librarian.

One of the worst parts about social media is its ability to tear people down, and it’s so disheartening to see that happen to someone so undeserving as Threets. To have it become so much where Threets has to resign from his dream job is the worst part.

Library kids at the Solano County Library lost a library adult who they can trust.

That’s the worst part about this — the robbery of “library joy.” But PBS is giving Threets a new platform for it.

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About the Contributor
Amanda Riha, Design Editor

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  • B

    Barbara KBApr 1, 2024 at 11:52 am

    I love Mychal Threets! Thank you, Mychal, for the positivity you bring to so many of us in Solano County. You are a jewel in our crown! I pray you will return to the work you do so well.

  • V

    Virginia BenderMar 30, 2024 at 9:56 am

    I lived in Fairfield for a short period of time and visited the library while Threets was there. He was amazing!

  • S

    SusanaMar 28, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    I first saw Mychal through Facebook – I love his positive energy and attitude 🙂 It’s a shame that people are unkind. If you don’t agree just move along!