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What is a database?

Librarians are always talking about "databases." What are databases, anyway? A database is a collection of data organized for rapid search and retrieval by a computer. Examples of databases are Amazon.com, Academic Search Premier, and the library catalog. They all have underlying databases, even though they look different.

It is useful to think of databases as containers of information. Just as your refrigerator has many containers of food, a library has many containers or databases of information. 
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