Compared to public librarians, I think that academic librarians have it easy in some ways. We tend to complain about students and faculty not using the library, but let’s face it, to a large extent we have a fairly captive audience. Many students need to use their academic library at some point, be it for a reserve item, to use a computer or to find a study room. The academic library is also conveniently located somewhere on campus that makes it easy for students to drop in during the course of the day. Few have to get in their car or take public transportation for a library visit.
Having attended a few public library-oriented sessions at ALA, I see that those folks have no audience except for the one they create. No one has to go to the public library; they have to want to go. So public libraries are getting savvy about marketing and designing programs to attract their community members of all ages. Compared to some of the outreach efforts I heard about it seems that academic librarians are not doing nearly as much to engage their patrons outside the library. And that may be because our survival is not entirely dependent upon it.
Oh, and academic librarians rarely have to deal with this sort of thing, but for our public library colleagues it must be the bane of their existence.