Libraries were a major feature of many ancient cultures and it is believed that some of the first systems for organising data were developed for use in libraries. One of the most famous libraries was the Great Library at Alexandria in Egypt. It was destroyed by fire in the 5th century - a danger of using paper storage.
Despite the widespread use of CD-ROM encyclopaedias and the internet for finding information, libraries have survived. Mainly due to the fact that no one has yet invented any electronic data storage and display device that is as cheap or easy to use as a book.

Most libraries use one of several versions of the Dewey classification systems for cataloguing and organising their books and other materials.
Libraries can store all the data types, although numerical data are usually stored as text. Collections of images, maps, posters, audio recordings and videos are common features of most local libraries.


An example of a library