UnMentoring – Who should contact NAG and why

NAG’s new UnMentoring scheme is designed for all those working with the selection, acquisition or management of library resources – whether in a library, support service situation, stock supply or third party supplier.

UnMentoring is suitable for staff at a variety of levels:

  • Staff new to the acquisitions and selection of information resources
  • Staff seeking to consolidate and update their knowledge in these areas.
  • Staff/service managers working in other areas of library operations who wish to learn more about this aspect or to extend their professional / career development

UnMentoring as the name suggests is very informal and it is your opportunity to drive the agenda.  It will be facilitated by current practitioners, will be practical in nature, and will cover a wide range of day-to-day issues. You may have questions on the following or on topics we haven’t covered here; feel free to contact us about other topics too.

  • Who does what? Roles and responsibilities of selector, purchaser and supplier.
  • An understanding of the importance of effective and efficient working practices in the selection and acquisition of books, e books and related resources in both the public, academic or specialist sector.
  • An understanding of how the supply chain can improve speedy and effective availability of resources for users.
  • An understanding of the key issues involved in selection/identification of resources.
  • An understanding of the different ways in which stock is selected for purchase by libraries, service users and suppliers.
  • An appreciation of the essential financial context to these operations.
  • An understanding of library supply operations.
  • An understanding of the contractual framework, tendering governing trading relationships between suppliers and libraries.
  • Procurement and consortia.
  • Confidence in talking about the supply chain with customers, colleagues and suppliers.

NAG Members can view lists of available unMentors for those working in academic libraries (or their suppliers) and for unMentors working in public libraries (or their suppliers) by logging into our website.  Simply contact them by email to begin your journey. You may only need one email or telephone conversation or you may find it’s useful to keep in touch; the decision is a mutual one.

If you have a query outside of the topics lists on the unMentors pages, please email the NAG office and we will try to find someone to help you.


Access to the unMentoring scheme is a new NAG member benefit.  If you’re not sure whether your organisation is a NAG member, please email the office and we can easily check for you.  If your employer is not a member, you can also join as a personal member from just £55 a year.

Could you be a NAG unMentor and support others?  If you are interested, please fill in our form outlining your skills here.

Have you recently taken part in unMentoring and would you be happy to give us some feedback?  We have a three question online form available here.

The NAG unMentoring scheme has been invaluable in building both my understanding of acquisitions work and my confidence. However knowledgeable and patient your colleagues, when, like me, you’re completely new to acquisitions work, it’s so beneficial to have a supportive place outside your organisation to explore understanding, to review issues and to test ideas. Thank you to NAG for offering this scheme, and to my unMentor for providing their expertise and insight.

Sarah Nicholas, Cardiff Metropolitan University