The main ethical concerns that I see being an issue for my research idea has to do with labour, as I would like to investigate the impact of increased programing in the library. For this to happen there has to be personnel available to take on the extra workload, but do to budget restrictions there may not be library staff available to do so. I was considering the use of volunteers in a professional capacity, using MLIS students on an internship or BEd students taking part in a non-school based practicum. I felt that they are two groups that would not only be able to excel organizing library programs. It would also mean that, unlike regular volunteers, that they would have a professional obligation to dedicate a defined amount of time working at the library while the quality of their work would be assessed by their school programs.
There are inherent problem with this staffing idea, and the practices of the union for actual library staff. If volunteers are coming in to do work for free, are they infringing on the library works? In addition there is the question of what defines what is considered paid library work, vs. volunteered work. Were this experiment to take place, library staff would be overseeing the programing while the volunteers would help facilitate it. Even with volunteers being placed in a subordinate position to regular staff, many issues remain.