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Patron merge

Learn how to use the patron merge utility to avoid requests associated with the original patron record becoming disconnected from requests submitted through the new NCIP generated patron record in Relais ILL.

As soon as the NCIP Lookup User message is turned on, new NCIP generated patron records are created as patrons start to use the system. In Relais (pre-NCIP) you may use your barcode as your Patron ID in your Relais patron record.

With NCIP there are two ids for a patron:

  1. The Internal Record Key : A system number in your library system.  This number never changes, even if the patron loses their library card and has to be issued a new one.  Once NCIP Is turned on this is the number that is used as the Patron ID in Relais.
  2. The barcode : This number may change over time, such as when a patron has to replace a lost card.  Once NCIP is turned on this number is used as an Alt Patron ID in Relais. 

Any requests associated with the original patron record will become disconnected from the requests submitted through the new NCIP generated patron record.

To avoid this situation and to preserve a patron’s access to all their requests, Relais can run, as a professional service, the Merge NCIP Patrons utility.

By default, the patron merge utility does the following:

  1. Reviews each patron record in the database and deletes any patron record that does not have a request associated with it.
  2. Clears all data from the remaining patron records except those fields listed in the table below. Click here for a list of the specific fields cleared by the utility.
  3. For each remaining patron record, an NCIP Lookup user is done using the value in the Patron ID field (typically the patron's barcode) and does the following:
    • If the Lookup returns an error, the patron record is marked Inactive. As there are requests associated with the patron record, the record cannot be deleted. This typically happens with old patron records that may not longer exist in the library system.
    • If the Lookup user returns a response, the utility looks to see if the Record Key (Patron ID) returned exists in the database.
    • If a match is found, the existing record is updated with the current patron information returned in the response. All requests associated with the pre-NCIP patron records are merged to the existing record and the pre-NCIP record is deleted.
    • If no match is found, a new patron record is created.

The list of fields included in both the updated and newly created patron records include:

Field in patron record                 

How the field is populated

Patron ID

Internal Record Key field from the NCIP Lookup User response.

Library ID Value input into the utility 1
Alternate patron ID Patron ID from the old patron record
Patron active status 'Y' for new patron, skip for existing patron
Patron type Value returned in the NCIP Lookup User response. Will override the existing value if different
Date entered Current date for newly created patron records
Last modified Current date for existing patron records
Patron surname Value returned in the NCIP Lookup User response
Patron name Value returned in the NCIP Lookup User response
Department Value returned in the NCIP Lookup User response. Will override the existing value if different
Language code Value returned in the NCIP Lookup User response
Billing type Value input into the utility 1
Billing rate Value input into the utility 1
Loan code Value input into the utility 1
File format Value input into the utility 1
Delivery method - Copy Value input into the utility 1
Delivery method - Loan Value input into the utility 1
Message format Value input into the utility 1
Message method Value input into the utility 1

1The following patron defaults required by the utility need to be supplied to Relais in advance of running the patron merge utility:

  • Required Fields: Library Symbol (this symbol must be configured for NCIP), Delivery Method - Copy, Delivery Method - Loan, File Format, Messaging Method, Messaging Format, Loan Code
  • Optional Fields: Billing Type, Billing Rate

 Note:  The patron merge should be run as soon as possible after NCIP Lookup User is turned on.

 Caution: After the merge utility has run, the patron records in your database contain at most the fields listed above. If your original patron records included additional information for statistical purposes, for example statistical categories, those fields will not be maintained after the merge utility has run. If it is important for you to maintain that information in your patron records you will need to use the Relais patron load to perform periodic overlays of your patron data to include these fields. The match point for the patron load will need to match the field used to populate the patron id field in these NCIP generated records, i.e. the Internal Record Key from the patron table in your library system.

 

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