Adding patrons to a record set from the Patron Purge Information report

patron-record, polaris, record-sets, shared-ext-housekeep

Kelly Hock


When calculating each libraries’ share of the annual Polaris dues, the number of registered patrons is taken into account. Most libraries perform an annual patron purge to remove patrons that haven’t used the library in several years. However, there has never been a simple way to apply the criteria for patron deleting - which varies from library to library and year by year – without requesting custom searches from the CLC.

Earlier this year, we conducted a poll to find out what criteria libraries use when deleting inactive patrons. Based on the results, we developed the Patron Purge Information report to allow libraries to easily identify and create a record set of patrons to delete. In addition, the report can identify patrons that meet the criteria but have certain blocking conditions on their account that is preventing them from being deleted.

Finding patrons to purge

Run the Patron Purge Information report

The report output includes the patron information, according to the criteria you selected, and the blocking conditions that would keep the patron account from being deleted. There is another blocking condition that we rarely see – the patron has a serial that has been routed to them. Please open a HelpDesk ticket if a patron has no blocking conditions according to the report but can’t be deleted.

Download and save the report output to Excel

  • Click on the “save” icon and choose “Excel” from the drop-down. When prompted, open and save the Excel document to your computer.

Optionally, sort and filter the patrons to perform additional clean-up

If you selected the Has unbreakable links option or the Show all option and you want to clean-up unbreakable links before deleting the patron records, follow these steps.

To sort and filter the report:

  • Open the Excel file you downloaded from the report
  • The spreadsheet may already be in a table format. If you can click on an arrow on each header column and sort, then you can skip these steps.
  • Highlight the entire report
  • Click on the “Insert” tab
  • Choose “table”
  • Choose “this table has headers”
  • Each column will now have a down arrow you can use to sort or filter by that column
  • Open each patron record and perform the necessary clean-up steps
  • Delete rows you don’t want to include in the record set

Creating a record set of patrons to clean-up

  • Log into the desktop client version of Polaris; the Excel document must be saved to the same computer that is hosting the Polaris application.
  • Create a New Record set File → New → Record Set → OK (button) → Record Type: Patron
  • To import the patrons from your excel document, click Tools–>Add…–> From File


  • Browse for the file.
  • If you encounter an error when opening the file, follow these workaround directions.
  • If the file is an acceptable format, a field will appear on the workform with the first column from your spreadsheet displayed. Make sure that the column listed is the column that contains the patron ID. In this report, the PatronID is the first column, so it should upload correctly without modifying the column that is listed.


  • Click Add. The patrons in your spreadsheet will populate the record set.
  • Save the record set and it’s ready to use as normal.

Deleting records from a record set

Follow the instructions in this article to permenantly delete items from Polaris through a record set.