Batch Loading Patron Records

This procedure outlines how to load patron records into the Millennium system. It is routinely done when a library joins the Minerva system, or when new students need to be added to the database. Because there are multiple loads of new students at academic libraries each year, there is at least one person at each academic library authorized to load their own patron records. For school systems that only require one student load per year, Maine InfoNet staff will load these records.


  1. Create a text file of patron records in the specified format. See the format description below.
  2. Save the file to your computer.
  3. Open the Circulation Module and click on the Data Exchange button at the left.
  4. From the drop-down Select Process menu, pick Load MARC PATRON records…
  5. Click on Get PC button at the top. Browse to find your file to Upload.
  6. Change the .pat option in the dropdown to .ptfs and click OK.
  7. Select the ptfs file you just added from the list and click Prep to preprocess the file into a .pat filetype. Then click Close.
  8. Select the pat file you just created and click on Load B (matching on Barcode). This will overlay existing records with the same barcode with the data you are loading. If there are no existing records with that barcode, it will create new records.
    • If your patrons definitely have unique id numbers (patron field u), you can instead load by clicking on Load L.
  9. In the new window, click on Test. Notice the number of new records created and the number of existing records overlaid. If these do not look correct, go back and look at your matching field (Barcode or ID number) and make sure they are formatted EXACTLY the same.
  10. If the test looks ok, click on Load
  11. After the load a statistical report appears on the screen. If there were any load errors (some of which are more advisories than real errors), an error file will be generated. Even if there are no errors, every time you load, print both the summary and the error file (or copy and paste) to your email address. If it is later discovered that something went wrong in loading, these files are indispensable in diagnosing the problem (and email copies are easier to share than paper)
  12. When you are done, select the files you have created (probably 4 of them) and click Delete to remove the loading files.

Documentation of this process can be found in the online manual at: See section 107503.


The system accepts information in several formats. Details can be found in the Getting Started Manual at Select DB Profile – Patron Records, then Patron Record Formats. Much of the same information is also presented in the online manual, starting at section: A review of this material is highly recommended to anyone loading their own records. Contact InfoNet staff if you do not have the manual’s id and password.

InfoNet Staff have found Format 3 the most flexible. Here is a sample record:

0123 234xyz 12-31-03
nSmith, Jane
aP.O. Box 177$305B East Hall
t(510) 555-1305
h123 Hill St.$Oakland, CA 95155

Each record must begin with a 24-character “zero field“. The first character in the zero field is zero. After it come the following elements:

Patron type 3 digits (000 to 255)
PCODE1 1 character (generally blank in Minerva–this means a space)
PCODE2 1 character (generally blank in Minerva–this means a space)
PCODE3 3 digits (000 to 255)
Home library 5 characters, e.g., “main” (generally a 3-character code followed by 2 spaces in Minerva)
Patron message code 1 character (generally blank in Minerva–this means a space)
Patron block code 1 character (generally blank in Minerva–this means a space)
Patron expiration date 8 characters (mm-dd-yy)

Each line following the zero field line contains a single-character field tag in the first column, followed by that field’s data and then a carriage-return / linefeed. Allowable values in Minerva include:

n Name (Lastname, Firstname format)
a Primary mailing address (used in printed notices) Enter a $ to indicate line breaks in an address.
t Primary telephone number
h Secondary mailing address
p Secondary telephone number
u ID number (can be used as an overlay match key if numbers are unique. This can NOT be a social security number)
b Barcode number (recommended to be used as an overlay match key)
z Email address (if present, patron will get notices by email as default)

Other, less used possibilities:

c College / Affiliation
d Dept
e Employee Status
j Major
k Parent Name
m Message
q Address 3
s Upd Status
v Extract Date
x Note

Each new record begins on the line below the last line of the previous record.