Meet Connor Dunwoodie, the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Social Media Wizard
CML’s digital storyteller enlists his colleagues to produce hilarious Instagram videos featuring dinosaurs, a parkour homage to “The Office” and other pop culture parodies.
If you follow the Columbus Metropolitan Library on Instagram (@columbuslibrary), you might have noticed that things have gotten a lot funnier. Nestled among mentions of upcoming events, staff profiles and pictures of kids with their first library cards is the kind of viral content one usually finds on the accounts of TikTok heavyweights.
As the digital storyteller specialist, Connor Dunwoodie oversees the library’s social media. Along with a team of staffers from several branches, Dunwoodie is finding new ways to tell the stories of a beloved city institution.
Columbus Monthly recently chatted with Dunwoodie, who broke down four of the library’s standout videos.
In this ode to The Office, librarians at the Hilliard branch jump, spin and roll around the library. Like the TV show, this version of parkour—the act of traversing obstacles by running, climbing or leaping—is all for laughs. The staffers featured in the video—Carissa Whyte, Liz Bougher and Tim Pawlak—are regulars on the library’s social media feeds. “When I go to visit them at the branch, they are always plotting things out,” Dunwoodie says.
On RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Reading Challenge is a chance for contestants to “read” (i.e. throw shade) at each other. But at CML, the Summer Reading Challenge is about encouraging people of all ages to read during the summer. Wearing a pair of formidable heels and channeling Mama Ru, Adam Wheelbarger, a customer services specialist at the Hilliard branch, announces the start of the annual program. “The library has some of the funniest people working for it,” Dunwoodie says.
Whether or not you’re familiar with the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, you’ll still enjoy this video, which is built around a song from the series. The video was filmed at four branches and features an astounding number of staffers—and some impressive transitions. “That’s probably been our most elaborate one we’ve done,” Dunwoodie says.
Before dinosaurs came to the Main Library branch in August for an interactive exhibit, Dunwoodie had to find out if one candidate was up for the job. During an interview with “Mrs. Rex,” he quizzed her on important questions, like what’s with the 150-some-million-year job gap? Most impressive is Dunwoodie’s ability to remain composed in the face of his fellow co-worker wearing a large inflatable dinosaur costume. “Pay this man more money,” one person commented on Instagram.
This story is from the November 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.