Use Technological Tools

Structure of a database


Understanding the structure of a database will help you locate and retrieve information more efficiently.

Information about each item in a database is called a record. For example, an online catalog would have a record for each item (i.e. books, journals, newspapers, videos, maps, etc.) owned by the library.

Each record is composed of individual elements of information called fields. Fields in a record could include the author, title, publisher, subject headings, publication title, etc. These fields can be used as access points when searching a database.

At left is a record for a newspaper article.

The fields in this record are: Author, Title, Source and Subject.