SQL for Librarians: Instructors' Guide

Tips and Tricks

Making a handout

Librarians like handouts. To make a handout for this lesson, adapt/print from http://data-lessons.github.io/library-sql/reference/.

General notes of SQL

database (dā’tə-bās’) noun: “A collection of data arranged for ease and speed of search and retrieval by a computer”

— The American Heritage® Science Dictionary


Relational databases are not as widely used in science as in business, but they are still a common way to store large data sets with complex structure. Even when the data itself isn’t in a database, the metadata could be: for example, meteorological data might be stored in files on disk, but data about when and where observations were made, data ranges, and so on could be in a database to make it easier for scientists to find what they want to.