3.4 Records and Fields
Records the building blocks
of databases, records describe information sources.
It is unrealistic, at
this time, to expect all information sources to come directly to
a computer screen on demand. The reasons for this will be
clearer to you as you become more experienced finding and using
information. In the meantime, having a record describing a
source that you can then find using your own abilities and
knowledge is an excellent starting point. The description in a
record uses elements called metadata [information about
information]. In many cases, the text itself will have to be
located using other finding tools. Some libraries provide links
to the text of articles, when available, at their own expense.
Fields the building blocks of
records; these are the sections of a record where information is
For example, your driver's license or ID card is a record about
you with fields describing your name, eye color, height, address,
and so on. Field names can vary, but in library databases author,
title, subject, publisher, and publication date are common.