Difference between CORBA and shared library

I'm reading the doc about CORBA and orbit, and I'm trying to figure out several things. The documentation on various site is really for beginners, it just shows it works, not what you can do.
I would like to understand in particularity what is the main difference between using CORBA and creating a shared library. Can you build a CORBA shared library? It seems that the people of gnome-db have done that, but if it is a library how the calls are made through the IIOP to the library? Is the distributed part lost?
Lastly do I really need IDL to discover what interface and methods a module provides. Can I do it at run time? Do I have to code something inside the stubs created by orbit-idl or is it taken care of for me?

Franck Martin
Network and Database Development Officer
South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission
E-mail: franck sopac org
Web site: http://www.sopac.org/
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