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  1. Andy Helck
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
  3. Thursday, 29 September 2016
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I'm cleaning up our patron database of about 10,000 patrons. I can get the addresses out easily enough with Create Lists or Sierra DNA and I know I will end up fixing most of the addresses the old fashioned way, one at a time. My question is, if I have mailing addresses in a CSV or Excel file, does anybody know a way to validate them? Not just punctuation and spelling, but does the address exist and will the post office deliver to that address? Last time I looked into this I found a web service that would do one address at a time, but I need either the entire US Mail address list to download or a website that I can do bulk submissions. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
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I've never done this but I've thought about it. One option: If you want to try to do it yourself, you could try using the US Post Office's API:

https://www.usps.com/business/web-tools-apis/welcome.htm

The email I got after I signed up to use it explained how to use it and linked to some documentation. If I would have gone any further, I would have written a script that read each address from the file, put it into an HTTP request, sent the request to the usps api, and then parsed the results and stored them.

Another option: Pay a company to do this for you. I think I saw that the Quipu Group did this; I don't see it on their web site but you could ask them. They're: http://quipugroup.com/# Or, if you google something like address validation or verification you'll probably find some companies that would do it.

One way you could use the results would be to correct records that correcting by hand (or put an "address needed" note in the patron record). Another thing you could do would be to get the normalized form of every address, including 9-digit zip code, and import them into your patron records (using a custom load table to edit the patron records).

Hope that helps. Good luck.
Phil Shirley
Technology Services Coordinator
Cuyahoga Falls Library
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  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
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