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Beyond Help: Updating Patrons

How do I update patron records?

If you want to email notices and bibliographies to each student and teacher individually, you will need to enter each student and teacher’s email address into their patron record either by hand or using a CSV file.  If this information is included in your school or district’s Student Information Management System, the email addresses can be included in CSV updates sent by email to RILINK at the beginning of the school year, or to our ftp server for daily updates.  If your district is not including student and teacher email addresses, or is not sending files to our ftp server, please contact your school or district tech coordinator, asking them to get in touch with Dorothy Frechette at 573-0927 or help@rilink.org.

You can find an Excel sample file for the format we are using here.  Not all of the fields are required, but the local (LASID) and state (SASID) student numbers must be included.  Email addresses are required if you want to email notices to students.

What are the fields in the Destiny patron record?

What is a csv file?

A .csv (comma separated values) file consists of data separated by commas. The data that corresponds to each item in the file is listed on a separate line, with each data item (field) separated from the next by a comma.  Fields must not contain commas, tabs, or new line (return) characters.   If commas must be included, each separate field in each line must be enclosed in quotation marks.

When you export patron records from Destiny, the file that is attached to the corresponding Job Manager report is actually in this format, although Destiny labels it with a .out extension instead .csv.  If you change the file type or extension from .out to .csv, you can open these files in a spreadsheet program.   You can also use the data import function, specifiying that the file is delimited, changing the delimiting character from Tab or Comma, and then clicking on Finish to bring the file into a spreadsheet. 

You can also open .csv or .out files with WordPad, NotePad or other textfile program.  The fields in the file are not labelled, so you must refer to the Destiny Patron record format to see what the names and order of the fields are in a patron file exported from Destiny.

Below is an example of a patron export file.  The file name when downloaded is PatronExportJob[number], so it's probaby a good idea to rename it so that you know what the contents are.  The first line in the .out file (you should change the extension to .csv if possible) is not data - delete it.  Note the parentheses around each field in the file.  Also note the strings of commas with just parentheses in between.  Each of these represents a data field in the Destiny patron record that currently has no data in it.  In order to interpret the contents of each field, you must refer to the structure of Destiny patron records.

"Sowams School Library (SWE)","Destiny","6.00",20130812,0000,01,"Y","UTF-8"   <--DELETE THIS ROW
"P210902","","Accardi","Clare","",,,,"U","Faculty","Active","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","N","","","","N",""
"SITEADMIN","","Administrator","Site","",,,,"U","Faculty","Inactive","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","N","","","","N",""
"P226319","","Alexander","Elizabeth","",,,,"U","Faculty","Active","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","N","","","","N",""
"P225042","","Austin","Jane","",,,,"U","Faculty","Active","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","N","","","","N",""

 

The short site name is not listed as the first field in this file because it is a patron export from only one Destiny site.  The first field listed in the example above is the barcode (LASID), followed by a blank field where the Destiny District ID (SASID) would be, followed by the FirstName, LastName, MiddleName, Nickname, (three fields that Destiny uses for other purposes), Gender, PatronType, (AccessLevel is not included in a patron export), Status, etc.

You could use an Export of the Student Patron Type to set up a grade book for your library classes.