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Tab-delimited patron data bulk delete

This documentation provides the requirements for creating a tab-delimited bulk delete file, including how to format and submit the file.

Bulk patron delete allows you to remove patron accounts from your system in bulk. Follow the guidelines below to create and submit a tab-delimited text file for bulk deletion of patron data.


The bulk patron delete file name must meet the following criteria:

  • Filenames cannot contain spaces or special characters
  • Tab-delimited files must have the .txt file extension
  • The filename must include the word 'delete'
  • If using a non-Windows machine, save the files as a Windows-formatted text file

Example: [OCLCsymbol]patronsdelete.txt

Bulk patron delete tab-delimited text file criteria

The tab-delimited text file data must meet the following criteria:

  • Provide the delete file in UTF-8 encoding file format
  • The file must contain all five tab-delimited column header fields in this order:
    • institutionId
    • barcode
    • sourceSystem
    • idAtSource
    • illId
  • Bulk delete includes the same matching elements of the current patron file and therefore must have institutionID (your WorldCat registry ID) and data for any one or more of the following elements:
    • barcode
    • illId
    • sourceSystem/idAtSource pair
  • Include existing checks for patron load, which accepts special characters (e.g., >, #, &, @, etc.) in text fields
  • The first line of the text file is the header and must contain column names separated by tabs
  • Column header names are not case sensitive, but must be spelled correctly.
  • Each line in the tab-delimited file must contain four-tab characters, which function as column separators
  • All values in columns are strings (text string, numeric string, etc.)
  • If you have no data to put in a column, leave it empty

 Note: If you are using a WorldShare Analytics report to build your delete file, please avoid using sourceSystem/idAtSource values as they are concatenated in the report. We recommend you use the barcode instead.

File examples

institutionId barcode sourceSystem idAtSource illId
127941 811702497      


institutionId barcode sourceSystem idAtSource illId
127941   urn:mace:oclc:idm:ocwms boblbiobgxx  


institutionId barcode sourceSystem idAtSource illId
127941       12345


institutionId barcode sourceSystem idAtSource illId
127941 811702497 urn:mace:oclc:idm:ocwms boblbiobgxx 12345

Sample file


Send bulk patron delete file

Send your bulk patron delete file via SFTP with your OCLC file exchange account.

If your library has not been turned on for automation:

  1. Place your initial delete file for validation review in the patron delete test directory: /xfer/wms/test/in/pdelete
  2. Email your regional OCLC Support office.
  3. Include in your email message:
    • Subject: [OCLC Symbol] 'Patron Delete File for Review'
    • Body: Include contact information and state if you would like the delete file processed and patron records deleted from WMS and Tipasa
    • If errors are found in the file, we will contact you to request a resubmission. If there are no errors, we will send you the results.

If your library has been turned on for automation, place your delete files in the /xfer/wms/in/pdelete folder.

Patron data file processing reports

Patron data reports are available in the wms/reports directory. This table shows the directories for downloading files and reports.

File type SFTP file directory location Note
Patron Exception Report /xfer/wms/reports Lists patron records that were not deleted from WMS and also the failure reason. The exception report will only run if at least one patron record failed to be deleted from WMS within a patron file.

 Note: Patrons with outstanding checkouts and fines will not be deleted using a bulk delete file.

Patron Summary Report /xfer/wms/reports Runs after a bulk delete patron file is processed and tells how many patrons in the file were deleted from WMS and if any exceptions.