Bay Area Proud

Thousands following North Bay librarian on TikTok for his real-life stories from the library

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Mykal Threets was just 5 years old when he first walked into Fairfield Civic Center Library. For Threets, who was home-schooled, it became his home way from home – place of comfort to ease his anxiety and depression. 

“I think I can trace it back as early as age 8 I've been dealing with anxiety and levels of depression, having very few friends, but stumbling upon books,” said Threets. “It just helped my brain relax. Help it come down just a little bit. Even on my darkest days, my hardest days, books were kind of like the rescue for me."

That passion, joy and comfort never wavered and if anything else expanded as Threets became Fairfield Civic Center Library’s librarian. 

I do have a sheer love for the library. I have a love for everybody who comes through those doors,” Threets said. 

But when the COVID-19 pandemic came around, Threets began sharing his love of the library with millions of people outside the library doors and in the process became something of a TikTok sensation.

Threets – like countless others – downloaded the app to eat up his newfound free time and although he “never intended to post” on it, began sharing his encounters and observations.

"Just this true joy of hearing kids' stories at the library and relating to that and letting them have a place to talk while realizing library staff, library workers, all of it forming an all-encompassing safe place where they can be themselves,” Threets said. 

While Threets enjoys relaying children’s “silly unhinged stories of truth,” his message became one about mental health. He offers words of support for anyone dealing with anxiety and depression.

"I'm trying to reach those anxious kids,” Threets said. 

But most of Threet’s TikToks center around lighthearted, innocent and whimsical tales. 

"The only one that I can pinpoint to being a big one would be the one where I was telling the kids that I'm happy they're at the library. I think that the one that everyone mentions to me so far is when I tell the kids, 'I'm happy you're here at the library.' Which I genuinely am,” Threets said. 

Or one of his most recent tales about a group of kids who were walking a lizard on a leash outside the library. 

“That's what people are gravitating towards. It's a place where people can be happy … everyone belongs,” Threets said. 

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