Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Why fans of cancelled TV show Bomb Girls are fighting back

I can't believe that Global has cancelled Bomb Girls!  A great series on an important time in Canadian history.
The girls have tied back their hair, rolled up their sleeves, and got out the cordite: Fans of the TV series Bomb Girls are now fighting its cancellation with online petitions and social-media campaigns in an attempt to save the drama set in a Canadian munitions factory during the Second World War.
“Please do not cancel Bomb Girls! My grandmother was a real bomb girl back then and I love this show!” writes American viewer Wendy Bright on the show’s Facebook page.
“Why can’t we ever keep a decent show in Canada?” asks Canadian Judi Michaud. “I love Bomb Girls! Hate hate hate all that reality garbage that continues to be on.”
Like fan campaigns before it, this one is unlikely to change the minds of network executives. But the cancellation this week illuminates how the harsh realities of the broadcasting system discriminate against Canadian content. The show’s producers say its Season 2 ratings dropped after it had to take a six-week break to make way on Global’s schedule for the CBS series Survivor. Despite a loyal fan base, decent ratings and a critical reputation as a strong Canadian series, Bomb Girls lost out to a business model driven by simulcasts of American shows.
When it launched as a six-part miniseries on Global in January, 2012, Bomb Girls got mixed reviews, but it quickly caught the attention of viewers and critics for its content. Depicting the lives of female munitions workers played by Meg Tilly and a group of younger actors, it has covered such issues as sexual harassment, infidelity, abortion and lesbianism. This year, Bomb Girls won the best-drama category at the Gracie Awards, the prizes for women’s television in the U.S., where the show runs on the digital cable channel Reelz. It also airs on more than 40 countries in Latin America and Europe. At home, industry insiders gave points to Global, a network with a feeble track record of producing successful Canadian content, for illuminating an unusual chapter in Canadian history.
In part, the show owes its success to the way it fits into two increasingly popular genres: the period drama, represented by Mad Men and Downton Abbey; and female-centric shows such as Girls. Its social-media presence reveals a strong following among young women charmed and intrigued by the story of how their grandmothers fought to get jobs and respect. Initial ratings in Canada were very strong for a Canadian series: The first episodes drew well over a million viewers to Global.
The second season, which concludes Monday, also started well: 1.1 million watched the premiere. Bomb Girls’ producers add that the show reached another 200,000 to 300,000 viewers who recorded it to watch later. Ratings remained in the 800,000-to-900,000 range, they said, until the show got bumped off the schedule in February. “We lost 25 per cent of our audience between February and March,” says executive producer Michael Prupas. Even in the 600,000-to-700,000, range, the show would be competitive with many dramas in CBC’s predominantly Canadian lineup.
Getting the right spot on a crowded schedule is a tricky proposition for any show in any market, but Canadian series are at a significant disadvantage. The reason: Canadian broadcasters maximize ad revenues by accommodating popular U.S. programming first. (Under Canadian regulations, a broadcaster can require the cable and satellite operators to drop Canadian ads into a competing U.S. signal when the broadcaster airs a show at exactly the same time as the U.S. network.) Simulcasting means that commercial Canadian TV schedules are largely determined in Los Angeles, and Bomb Girls was the unusual Canadian show that won a weeknight, wintertime spot. Global airs its other prime-time Canadian drama, the cop show Rookie Blue, in the summer, when U.S. dramas are on hiatus.
Ironically, when Bomb Girls returned to a new Monday-night spot in late March it was up against not only the U.S. shows The Following and Two Broke Girls but also the CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries. The competition between two rather similar Canadian shows might not have been the wisest use of tax dollars: It is not only the CBC that uses public money to make Canadian TV. Typical of Canadian dramas, Bomb Girls depends on the Canadian Media Fund for 25 per cent of its budget, while another 30 per cent is covered by government tax credits.
Seeing how successful Murdoch has been since it moved from CITY-TV to the CBC in January, some observers have speculated that the public broadcaster could rescue Bomb Girls. They have received, however, scant encouragement. “Our schedule for next season is set and … there’s no room to pick anything else up,” says Kirstine Stewart, head of English-language services at the CBC. “Fans of Bomb Girls should talk to Global.”
But Global says it backed Bomb Girls to the hilt, and had always intended to program it in six-week arcs, like a miniseries. “We put massive support behind the show,” says Barb Williams, senior vice-president for content at Shaw Media. “When it returned from hiatus, Bomb Girls was scheduled between heavy hitters like Bones and Hawaii Five-O and we put more marketing and publicity support behind it than any other Global show – in the hopes that the audience would grow over these successive story arcs.”
The broadcaster is now talking to the producers about creating a two-hour special next winter to wrap up the storylines. The producers want to proceed with that project – which Global unveiled this week in a press release that disguised the cancellation as an announcement of the special – but point out it has to be done in a way that leaves the door open.
“What we are trying to do, going ahead with this movie, is to ensconce Bomb Girls as an iconic show, so hopefully we can come back to the characters at some later stage,” Prupas says, pointing to British shows like Prime Suspect that have been revived after a long break. “Keeping the title alive is important to us. We hope it will have a future.”

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

We are getting a new Library!

Beamsville is getting a new library facility in 2014! The community has only waited 162 years to replace its current building.  For those of you who know this library, it is in the original township hall with an generic 1970's addition which is cosy and historical , but certainly not designed for the 21st century library service. I think we are now in the oldest library facility in Ontario.

We will be moving into a brand new Community Complex that includes not only a library, but a new single pad arena and meeting space.  It will still be located in the heart of Beamsville in the old fairgrounds land partially surrounded by a new housing development.  For a community in the Greenbelt where new growth is restricted, this development will bring big changes to our small agricultural town.

Great fun ahead as we get ready with an updated collection, all new furniture and space.

I hope that we can create synergies with the sports and community groups to create the Community Hub which will bring people of all ages together.

Consider the possibilities!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Small, But Full Of Stories: The Mini Library Helps Readers Recover After Hurricane Sandy

Another in the series 'Libraries Aren't Just Buildings Anymore'.
Photo: Urban Libraries Unite
When Hurricane Sandy hit, a lot of homes, buildings and infrastructure got damaged. And according to Examiner.com, the storm also forced libraries to close in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
In five Brooklyn libraries alone, nearly 80,000 books, magazines and DVDs were destroyed in the storm, the NY Daily News says.
Photo: Brooklyn Public Library
Some libraries are still closed. But an organization called Urban Libraries Unite (ULU) has stepped in with a solution: the Mini Library.
ULU set up these orange newspaper boxes outside libraries that are still closed in Brooklyn and Queens.
Each all-weather Mini Library houses about a hundred books at a time. And there's no expectation, the ULU says, that any of the books borrowed will be returned.
mini-library-sidebar.jpgInstead, the boxes are "a resource for our communities, a chance to experiment in library science, and a reminder to the public that even if the library itself is in ruins the librarians are still thinking of them."
But one thing the little boxes are not intended to do is replace full-sized libraries.
The ULU calls itself "a professional group created to promote and support libraries, library staff, and librarianship in urban settings." As such, some members of the organization "have had a very complicated relationship with the little library movement."
Although the Mini Library is a good way to ensure that people who want a book can get one, the ULU site says "A library without a librarian is a pile of books. It lacks a life spark, an essential curation component and thus a dynamic inspiration."
In fact, the ULU says they're considering ways to make the Mini Library a little bit more like its bigger cousin, including possibly dispatching teams for a few hours on weekends to offer people direct reference and library services and maybe even installing a wi-fi transmitter so people in the area can use their wireless devices.
Via Grist

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Underground Library: An Idea To Create A Virtual Book Shelf For The Subway

Another in the series 'Libraries aren't just Buildings Anymore.

Books March 16, 2013
Picture this - you're on a subway or a bus... you start looking at all the posters and signs... and you see one that looks like a book shelf, full of great reads.
Only it's not a poster.
Three students from the Miami Ad School in Brooklyn have come up with something they call 'The Underground Library'.
It's a virtual library shelf that would allow you to walk up, pick out a book, and swipe your smartphone across it to download the first 10 pages for free.
The idea is to encourage people to give the book a try, and then head over to the nearest public library to pick up a hard copy.
And even if you don't know where the closest library is, no problem. When you leave the subway, a map comes up on your phone to show you the nearest branches.
Here's a short video from the designers.

There's no WiFi on the subway, but the students say a lot of new smartphones have Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology that can be used for downloading.
Art directors Keri Tan and Max Pilwat and copywriter Ferdi Rodriguez are the ones who developed the idea - with the New York Public Library in mind.
At this point, that's all it is - an idea. But if it actually happens, it seems like a cool way to connect the digital world with actual books.
As the students point out, "now that the internet is available almost anywhere, people are able to do "instant research" to learn about anything on their smartphones."
"The New York Public Library wants to remind New Yorkers that they are still a valuable resource, and a free service... They want to give New Yorkers something productive to do on the subway instead of their everyday people watching."
Via dezeen.com

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Cine-books combine advantages of books and movies

The book was better,” we say, but what if we combine the books with movies? It’s possible these days. Technology allows to create gorgeous book applications, that can play videos and music, and offer the unlimited number of interactive elements. It’s all up to imagination of app developers.
Technically cine-book is an extended ebook with photo illustrations with cinematographic quality, video inserts, voice, sound and music. It can be read as book or heard as audio-book, and also watched like a movie!
The trailer for Cine-books sounds really promising. Although it doesn’t reveal too many details, at least it directs into believing that a single cine-book will include an entire book and an entire movie based on it. I’m not sure if this is the goal (and whether could be done at all – see “copyright costs” part of the business plan), but the promise is huge. Imagine Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, combined with the movie directed by Gary Ross and starring Jenniffer Lawrence.

Cone-books are under development. They will be launched in 2013 in the iTunes AppStore, Google Play, and Amazon AppStore.

Piotr Kowalczyk Stumbleupon
March 15, 2013