Social Software In Libraries Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online by Meredith G. Farkas
This book is on using social software in libraries. It covers all the major different types of software; blogs, RSS, Wikis, online communities, social networking, social bookmarking, synchronious online referece (instant messaging and VOIP -- voice over internet protocol), mobile technology, podcasting, screencasting and vodcasting, and gaming.
Every chapter contains numerous examples of how these technologies are used in libraries. At the end of the book, there is a list of all the websites listed in the book organized by chapter. There are many of them and all of them seem to have been thoroughly vetted.
The language in this book is easily understandable and the majority of the tools being described are free or very low cost. Some of them inlude; blogspot, wordpress, meebo, flickr, facebook, and Second Life. There are many computer screen captures printed throughout the text. These usually display a specific website. I found this to be visually satisfying. In addition, there are single page librarian guest spots describing how they use a specific piece of technology in their library.
The most useful website which I found in the book was http://www.librarysuccess.org a best practices wiki. I really had not looked at many wikis before this. I intend to read through it thoroughly.
The book covers most of the basic technologies. Some of the technology seems to be a little advanced for me. I am not sure that we are ready to set up a full scale online community for our library, create a wiki, or do extensive screencasting yet.
The book was written in 2007 so it seems to be fairly up to date. It did not include Twitter in the social networking tools, and did not include music games like Guitar Hero in the gaming section.
At the back of the book, there is an extensive bibliography and index. The last chapters are on choosing the right social software for your library and keeping up with the changing world of social software. The author, Meredith G. Farkas has a companion website, http://sociallibraries.com for the book.