A corporate library or information service is a unit within a corporate body providing the information that the staff need to carry out the work of the organization. Corporate bodies include business firms engaged in retail and manufacture, law firms, consultancies, other commercial entities like banks and insurance firms, professional trade bodies and non-governmental organizations. Many of the media organizations such as newspapers and broadcasting can also be brought within the purview of corporates by virtue of their nature and style of functioning, but they are marked by a distinct identity based on their common function. Corporate and media information services naturally reflect their parent organizations and are therefore various and heterogeneous. Yet, across all organizations, they face similar challenges. The primary challenge is to prove their worth when the main function of the parent organizations is not officially information provision or learning. The role of the information professional in such a context is particularly challenging. There is a whole gamut of information which can be provided by the information centres, but the parent body may not always try to obtain them from a dedicated information service. In a scenario where information is abundantly available to end users, information professionals today must ask themselves what value their special skills add to their organization. Moreover, the complexity of when, where, and how information is accessed, has created a new set of responsibilities related to managing internal and external information resources.
It is in this background that Kerala Library Association (KLA) is organizing a national conference on Corporate and Media Librarianship. KLA has a great tradition of successfully organizing national seminars on School Libraries, Academic Libraries at the higher education level and public libraries. Now, we consider it appropriate to concentrate on the special library sector, with special emphasis on corporate and media information centres.