Jackson County's libraries will reopen possibly before November after commissioners today approved a five-year contract to outsource the operation of all 15 branches.

Jackson County's libraries will reopen possibly before November after commissioners today approved a five-year contract to outsource the operation of all 15 branches.

Maryland-based Library Systems and Services LLC expects to hire 50 to 60 library workers, potentially by the end of next week, said Frank Pezzanite, president and chief executive officer for the company, known as LSSI.

"We've been through this before," said Pezzanite. "It's nothing new for us."

LSSI, which will begin interviewing former county library employees and others this week, could open the libraries before the first week in November, but Pezzanite said it could take a few weeks to reestablish Internet connections.

He predicted that library patrons should notice very little changes in the way the libraries function, apart from reduced hours.

"We put a lot of emphasis on public service," he said. "We try to get our people out of the back room to help the public."

The county's contract with LSSI provides $3,048,948 for the first fiscal year of the agreement, which starts on Oct. 1 and stretches to the end of June.

— Damian Mann