Written by Joe Armstrong, Content Specialist, Downtown Main Library
If you follow the Library on TikTok, opens a new window, you're sure to have seen some of the viral videos like this iconic, acrobatic display of shelving skills with over 3.7 million views. During the day Paul Wellington, the Library's Social Media Specialist, builds entertaining, informative, and educational content promoting the Library's materials and services. But he's also known for creating some truly legendary LEGO builds - so much so that he is competing on season four of "LEGO Masters" which at 9 p.m. ET every Thursday on Fox.
Want to show off your LEGO skills and build like Paul? CHPL hosts dozens of LEGO-related events each year, with many happening across our 41 library locations throughout the rest of 2023.
Up to a weekly LEGO challenge? Madeira's LEGO Crew events are perfect for you, as you'll join your LEGO crewmates for a new STEM challenge. For builders who prefer a more Zen environment, head over to the Madisonville Branch each week after school to create with LEGO while sipping on a hot beverage.
Check out CHPL's events calendar for more chances to build with LEGO at your library.
Bridging Libraries and LEGO
Paul's no stranger to both libraries and LEGO. Before joining CHPL in 2022 as the Library's viral-video-creating Social Media Specialist, he worked at the Milwaukee Public Library for over six years. But when he's not producing entertaining and informative content on CHPL's Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, Paul creates incredible LEGO builds ranging from expansive city blocks to detailed architectural miniatures.
"I tend to build microscale cities," Paul says, "Building in a small-scale means using pieces in ways they aren’t intended, which can lead to some really cool designs."
It wasn't long until the producers of "LEGO Masters" invited him and his sister Nealita to star in its fourth season which premiered on September 28. Since then, viewers nationwide have watched as Paul and Nealita build some truly jaw-dropping creations. They've built a floating tribute to their home state of Wisconsin with their "Dairy Ferry," a giant fire engine playhouse built custom for a fiery kitten named Stella, and a volcanic arctic island!
After blazing through the first few episodes of "LEGO Masters," Paul and Nealita are showing both their building skills and chemistry as a team, where both builders have to work together to create their show-stopping builds in just a few hours. "My sister and I haven’t built together since we were kids, and she hasn’t built since she was a kid, so it was an interesting experience," Paul says, "We didn’t really get our feet wet until the first episode, but we quickly adjusted and learned to work together."
With plenty of rounds left, Paul hopes to showcase his favorite style of building: architecture. "One of my favorite architectural styles is Mid-Century Modern, particularly buildings with sloped roofs," he says, "For some reason I rarely design LEGO buildings in this style, but this is something I hope to incorporate in "LEGO Masters."
Watch Paul as he competes on "LEGO Masters" at 9 p.m. ET every Thursday on Fox. The episodes will also be available on the Hulu streaming service the following day.
Building Creations (and STEM Skills)
CHPL hosts dozens of LEGO-related events each year, with plenty happening across our 41 library locations throughout the rest of the year. And they're not just fun and games, building with LEGO is great way to lay the building blocks of STEM skills and concepts.
"LEGO is valuable since anything can be built with a little imagination," Paul says, "It’s especially great for STEM concepts, as there are hundreds of elements (System and Technic) that can be used to create models, and then easily taken apart to create new projects. Additionally, with the complexity of connections, LEGO is a great STEM tool for any age."
Up to a weekly LEGO challenge? Madeira's LEGO Crew events are perfect for you, as you'll join your LEGO crewmates for a new STEM challenge. Think you can build something indestructible? Something that can go into outer space? Put your skills to the test each Thursday from 3:45-4:45 p.m. at the Madeira Branch Library.
For builders who prefer a more Zen environment, head over to the Madisonville Branch each week after school to create with LEGO while sipping on a hot beverage. The "Chill Zone" events happen each Tuesday from 4:30-5 p.m.
There are event more LEGO events to inspire you to have fun and learn about STEM. Check out our events calendar for more chances to build with LEGO at your library.
Creating Viral Builds & TikToks
When he's not building out-of-this-world LEGO creations on national television, Paul creates viral social media content showcasing CHPL's unique services and materials to millions of people. His first viral TikTok began with a visit to the Loveland Branch Library, where he planned to record a clip merging the concepts of football and libraries to share how the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library has gone late fine-free. What he didn't expect was that the 19-second clip would be viewed over 2.7 million times.And just a few months later, with the help of the Library Customer Adviser Kelwin Hester at the Groesbeck Branch Library, CHPL took over TikTok again, this time garnering over 3.7 million views as he demonstrated the creatively acrobatic ways library staff can gather books customers have placed on hold.
Check out this blog post and follow a day in his life to celebrate all things CHPL, including its 41 library locations, more than 800 library staff, and hundreds of thousands of customers.Going viral is just one of the things Paul does as CHPL's Social Media Specialist.
Watch Paul as he competes on "LEGO Masters" at 9 p.m. ET every Thursday on Fox. The episodes are also available on the Hulu streaming service the following day.