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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Explanations of fields in MPL data files

From Susan Lee of MPL, here are the official explanations of the fields in the data files they sent:

Here are the definitions for the codes in MPLSNAP13JUN2005xls, and all
the other files:

PSTAT codes are Patron Statistical Classes which correspond to the
official census tract information for that address.

CITY codes are 2 and 3-letter codes representing cities in Wisconsin.
These codes are meant to save staff time and ensure accuracy when
entering and modifying patron records.

HOME library is the library at which a patron first registered for a
library card. In our automated Dynix system, it also serves as the
default pick-up location. So, in some cases, a patron might ask
library staff to change his HOME agency to match that of his preferred
pick-up location rather than having to specify it each time he places a
hold. We use HOME agency to indicate which library "owns" a patron.
In the files we extracted, HOME agency also indicates the agency where
the check-out occured. It's somewhat confusing...I hope I haven't made
it worse!

MPLONE, MPLONEAND, MPLTWO, MPLTHREE, and MPLFOUR are all MPL patrons
based on PSTATs. The file was too large to be sent to me on the City
network, so Automation divided it up. Using these reports, the total
number of MPL patrons is 142,183.

Susan is going to FAX the lists explaining the actual codes used in each field to me, so hopefully they'll arrive before our class begins today.

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