My friend and co-worker Becky just posted on Facebook a link to Steve Rubel who speaks about the stream of information and getting the word out on your product. In a brief, tight fifteen minutes, he makes some cogent statements about the increasing flood of information inundating everyone who is connected and how the more information out there, the risk is that the less attention will be paid to it. Information that rises to the top of the clammor stream and that is personally affecting for people will get noticed more.
He argues that it is vital that organizations use multiple social networking sites to deliver their message and that the messages do not have to be all the same. He likens various networking sites as embassies for each business that allow them to advance their work and reach. And he sends a clarion call to business leaders to allow employees to use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and others so they are part of the stream of new communication - they become comfortable with them and can begin to use them for the business as well.
It is thoughtful stuff for us in libraries. Written handouts and the newspaper aren't enough. Your website; your Facebook account, your Twitter account (and your openness to learning new things to add to your marketing arsenal when the old ones drop off - remember Second Life; remember My Space) all add to your libraries presence and advance your mission. Helping your staff feel comfortable using these sites to explore and communicate on work time gives them the chops to fell comfortable doing this for the library as well (see Tasha's Sites and Soundbytes for more on this).
So here comes my mantra (and it is to myself too!): be brave, don't fear. You can do it!
Image: 'River Rivelin' http://www.flickr.com/photos/54601101@N00/624642056