The Walton-DeFuniak Library was established in 1886. It is the second oldest in Florida, with only the library in St. Augustine considered as being older. However, some facts have come to light recently which prove that our library is the oldest in the state that was built as a library and still continues to be used as such. The information in the minutes of the library association is very interesting. The Ladies' Aide Society was started by a group of women in 1886 to provide an organized plan for greeting visitors. The first meeting place for these ladies was the McCormick Academy just east of the present Presbyterian Church in August 1887. Members pledged $1.00 for books and gift books were also solicited. The name of the organization was changed to the Ladies' Library Association and is the name of the governing body of the library today.
The members of the Ladies' Library Association raised money for books by giving suppers and also giving an ice cream social every Thursday night.
Until 1902 the members of the Ladies' Library Association took turns keeping the library open. At that time, Miss Alice Fellows was named the first librarian, as she had been a member since 1894, and served in that capacity until her death in 1926.
Today, the City of DeFuniak Springs and the Walton County Commissioners donate monies for the operation of the library each fiscal year. The maintenance of the Walton-DeFuniak Library is provided by the Park & Recreation Department of the City of DeFuniak Springs.
Approximately 25,186 volumes can be utilized today at the Walton-DeFuniak Library.