Workers facing redundancy following the decision to close 30 Lincolnshire libraries claim they were "gagged" from speaking out against the controversial plan.
Lincolnshire County Council library staff, already facing a bleak festive period, have also been warned their sickness and disciplinary records could cost them a post within the new streamlined service.
Around 100 staff are expected to lose their jobs because of Lincolnshire County Council's decision to transfer 30 libraries to volunteer-run 'community hubs'.
The decision, rubber stamped by the nine-strong executive committee last week, has already attracted widespread criticism from anti-closure campaigners.
Library staff were effectively silenced during the period leading up to the implementation of the scheme.
But a number of workers have now broken ranks to reveal some of the heavy-handed tactics used by the authority.
They have all chosen to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals – including sabotaging their chances of being considered for another post.
One library whistleblower said: "Some of us have known of the impending disaster for over 18 months and, while being kept informed by our service bosses of what was happening, we have also received regular emails advising us against being seen to be in opposition to the plans as being a breach of our terms and conditions which could lead to disciplinary action.
"As both disciplinary action and time off sick are being used as part of the re-selection decision, this has caused us concern.
"I have seen colleagues dragging themselves in to work, and risking infecting the rest of us with whatever they are suffering with, because each day off sick counts as 10 points (out of a possible 200) off their re-employment score.
"It's not simply a case of if a library worker might face redundancy – all frontline libraries staff, static or mobile, will lose their jobs.
"This applies to the people who run the counter in a local library and support the mobile drivers, and site supervisors – the people responsible for the day-to-day running of each group of libraries.
"All of these people now have to apply for the much reduced number of jobs and won't be interviewed until January."
There are 299 posts in the structure that will come to an end in May.
A total of 59 posts are vacant while 138 posts will be available under the new library regime.
There is another 74 transitional posts for the threatened 30 libraries.
Campaigners against the closures say the executive committee ignored the views of Lincolnshire people and dismissed the findings of an independent consultation report that cost taxpayers £96,000.
Anti-closure campaigner Ros Jackson said: "These insider views demonstrate how calculating the executive have been about the process. They have undermined the free speech of library staff who will be hit hard by these cuts."
Jonathan Platt, head of libraries and heritage, denied they had prevented staff from speaking out but confirmed sickness absence and disciplinary action were used in the re-selection process but defended the moves.
Mr Platt said: "Sickness absence and disciplinary action are two factors taken into account during the reselection process. This has been county council policy in all restructures since 2011.
"We could not stop staff from publicly speaking out against the proposals, if they chose to do so, but we did remind them of the council's code of conduct, which offers guidance on the behaviour expected of all council employees."
The council's code of conduct forbids staff to talk to the media unless permission has been granted.