When a book is received by a library, the cataloger creates a "record," that is, a description of the book intended to identify it and also to help the catalog search engine find what users need.


This record is made up of "metadata," that is, descriptive information that goes along with the data.  Obviously we can't put real books in our library search tool, so we must put in descriptions (metadata records) that will guide you to real books.

Our Library OneSearch tool has various searching options. For example, if I choose the following:

OneSearch does something like this:

The search engine in the catalog finds the Field "Title" and selects Book as item type and searches the data in every record only for the relevant words in those fields.  Results include:

Metadata allows precision in searching by identifying key elements like authors, titles, and subjects.

Created February 4, 2010 by William Badke; revised August 25, 2017.