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Automatic Patron Load Process

Here’s an overview of how the process would work.  On a recurring basis:

  1. Your IT department produces a data file with all pertinent details for its users (barcodes, ID numbers, addresses, etc.).
  2. Your IT department uploads this file to the OhioNET server.
  3. OhioNET retrieves and processes the file into a format required by Innovative (III).
  4. OhioNET loads the formatted records.
  5. Library staff review the records and take any necessary action based on the results.

Except for the final review process, all steps must be completed without human intervention.  Specifically, in Step 1, the data file must be created through a scheduled scripting process or database query, not by a manual extraction. This ensures consistency in the data and reduces the margin of error.

OhioNET provides a secure FTP server for your files. When naming your files please use the following format (substituting your library name where it says LIBRARY)  Example: LIBRARY_pats.txt

Libraries interested in pursuing automated patron loads can contact opalhelp@ohionet.org for  more information.

Graduating Seniors

Some libraries may want to suspend updates to their graduating seniors' expiration dates. To achieve this, staff can update the fixed field PCODE2 to have a value 'g' in the patron record. A PCODE2 = 'g' will protect the current expiration date from changes in future patron loads. When the library receives a list of graduating seniors, code their Sierra patron records with PCODE2 = 'g', either manually or by sending a list of barcodes or ID numbers to opalhelp@ohionet.org. Depending on the current expiration date of these patrons, staff may want to rapid update the EXP DATE field to an earlier (or later) date at the same time.