As a home educator, Sarah Latta relies on outside sources to supplement her children's education.

As a home educator, Sarah Latta relies on outside sources to supplement her children's education.

That is why she is concerned Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed cuts to library funding will have a direct impact on her family and others who use the county's libraries.

She expressed her feelings in an e-mail to Ohio Rep. Kris Jordan (R-Delaware).

"I am a home educator residing in the city of Delaware. We have relied heavily on the local libraries for books and resources to supplement our children's education. The summer reading programs offered by the libraries have been instrumental in developing our children's love of reading," she wrote.

The library also is a "safe place" for children and a place where county residents, feeling the current economic pinch, can go for entertainment and computer services, Latta wrote as she asked Jordan to help avoid any cuts for Ohio libraries.

If the proposed cuts remain in the budget, those services and others will be affected, said Shea Alltmont, communications manager for the Delaware County District Library.

The county library began 2009 believing it would receive $1.88-million in public library funding from the state. After a 20-percent cut by the state, funding was reduced to $1.5-million, she said.

Another 30-percent cut, which the governor is proposing, would drop the amount to $940,000.

The county already has received $927,000 from the state this year, so that would leave only $13,000 in additional funding for the next six months, Alltmont said.

Library officials already knew they would have to dip into reserves to maintain programs and operating hours for the remainder of the year until additional funds started coming in early next year from the 1-mill, 10-year levy approved by voters in May, she said.

"If the 30-percent cut goes through, we will have a very challenging time through the end of the year because we based our budget on the 20-percent decrease," said library director Mary Jane Santos.

The library has sufficient reserves to cover the additional lost revenue for the remainder of the year, she said.

But, Alltmont said, the library used an anticipated revenue amount of $2-million a year for the next 10 years in public library funding to calculate the millage for the levy.

This was done to make certain the library would maintain sufficient operating revenues to keep the promises it made during the campaign. Those promises included expanding operating hours at all branches, buying new books and other items for circulation and building -- and staffing -- a new library in Orange Township.

The proposed cuts would not hinder the construction of the new library, Santos said. But it will affect operations.

"The budget cuts would really affect materials and staffing levels at all locations," she said. "It's a million dollars we have to save through materials and hiring fewer people than we had hoped to hire as the economy recovers."

If the cuts are passed, the library board will meet to determine which steps need to be taken for the remainder of the year to avoid dipping too heavily into reserves, Alltmont said.

The board also will work with the public to determine which cuts in services and hours need to be made in the future.