COUNCIL bosses admitted some job losses are inevitable as a result of the cuts.
However, they do not envisage any need for compulsory redundancies.
Volunteers will be encouraged to help in the running of the new library service, in areas like the Patients Library Service, which delivers books to those in hospital.
While important to the future service, councillors insist such volunteers will not form the backbone of the proposals.
Unison regional organiser Helen Coomer says staff understand the need for cuts but lamented the potential loss of the nine libraries.
“I think it’s a terrible day for Sunderland when the council are forced to shut libraries and reduce the opening hours of several others by this Tory government,” she said.
“It’s refreshing to see the council have spoken to staff and the public and haven’t taken the slash-and-burn approach we have seen elsewhere but it’s still an awful cut to an essential public service.
“Closing almost half the city’s libraries is a step further than simply modernisation.”