I currently have this
Where do you stick this:
("SELECT * FROM material WHERE status='$status' AND category='$category' ORDER BY `material`.`title` ASC ");
While still using *? Or do I have to name all of the columns?
DATE_FORMAT(`date`,'%m/%d/%Y') AS showdate
While you *should* name all the fields you want, it is not required. You can simply select the date format in combination with the *:
SELECT *, DATE_FORMAT(`date`, '%m/%d/%Y') AS showdate. You'll still have the `date`, but also the `showdate` fields returned.