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Adding patrons: part of the Evergreen adventure

February 6, 2012

I have no idea how much time anyone has spent really thinking about this but it felt like a good topic to discuss.  As we continue to progress into our Evergreen ILS migration the discussion of how to add patrons to our system has obviously come up.  Previously we were having patrons create a library account when they approached the desk to check out material for the first time.  At one time (when we had maybe 50 students in the school) I tried to preemptively add all enrolling students to the system at the start of the term, yeah – that just never really worked.  It would have been so nice if our campus management system would “talk” to my ILS but it was complicated and expensive to get students to auto load. 

Now however, we have a much more formal IT department and with a national migration to an ILS, adding patrons will be a snap.  When a student moves from prospective to enrollment our IT department will simply send along a script file which will add those new students to our database.  Oh… Happy Day!!  The only patrons this will not happen for (at least initially) is our faculty and staff.  But hey, beggars can’t be choosers, I’m happy with what we got here.

What about you, how do you get patrons loaded into your ILS system?  Or if you are using Excel how do you keep track of which students/faculty/staff have circulated material?  Do you have contact info for those individuals, what is it, where do you store it??


3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2012 5:19 pm

    I’m actually waiting on my IT dept. to send over a flat file from the campus’ new Banner system.

    I write a script that reads each line into an array of values (field 0 is the ID, field 1 is the last name, etc.), and then writes those values into another flat file that our ILS recognizes.

    I then write a script that downloads the Banner file, runs it through my mapping script, and then inputs the new file into the ILS’s patron loading script.

    I just think of this kind of activity as some kind of messed up extension of playing Sudoku, so it’s play, not work. Right?! 😉

    • February 6, 2012 8:34 pm

      Yes Keith, definitely Sudoku! It is always so much more complicated then one thinks it will be to get simple things to happen digitally. It’s almost like people think that the computer will run itself. Thanks for the comments!


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