Information professionals are members of the service industry, working for other peopleto satisfy their information needs. This paper presents research results which critically analyze this support function. It focuses on the conditions of adjusting the offer of the inforation industry (libraries, databases, etc.) to the specific needs of the scientific community and concludes that in the sector, in any case, the problem is now less one of information retrieval, but more one of using appropriate information management techniques to promote cooperative work. The impact of this change in perspectives on training programmes is considered.