Library hack reveals that librarians can provide way more than just books

A librarian’s recent TikTok is blowing up after it laid bare a helpful little “library hack” that most people probably don’t know about: You can ask a librarian for a lot more than just looking up your favorite book.

According to That Guy Matthew (aka @mhoothewho), librarians can assist with “a bunch of problems” you might not expect, including making calls for patrons who might need assistance.


Libraries are all about books? Nah, we help with a bunch of problems! A patron asked me to make a phone call for them, and i recorded it (with their permission) #phone #library #help #talesfromthelibrary

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In his now-viral video, Matthew films himself sitting behind the reference desk and playing with a hand puppet as he waits for hold music to end. Once someone picks up on the other end of the line, he explains why he’s calling.

“Hi, my name is Mr. Matthew. I’m a librarian with [redacted],” he begins. “I’m actually calling on behalf of one of our patrons with phone anxiety. [Name redacted] would like to cancel her appointment for February 7.”

After exchanging a few words, the doctor’s office appears to confirm the cancelation, and Matthew says thank you before hanging up.

The whole thing took less than 30 seconds and is kind of amazing to watch if you’re a person who struggles with phone anxiety.

A lot of people in the comments section said they’ve battled with similar issues and could have benefitted from knowing this sooner.

“oh my god, i have housebound sociophobia & this is so sweet!” one person shared.

In the comments, Matthew admits that he’s not sure if all libraries provide this particular service, but that he does and strongly believes his job is to help patrons however he can.

“wait do all libraries do this or does it depend on the librarian?” one person asked, to which Matthew replied, “I hope all of us want me to call your local library and find out ?!”

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