DEFUNIAK SPRINGS — A local group is working to install a quiet room in the Walton-DeFuniak Library.

 

Leadership Walton's Class of 2019 is raising funds to install a plexiglass barrier in the back of the building's main floor.

Michelle Garrison, president of the 2019 class, said they've raised around $3,000 of the $11,450 goal.

With the original completion date slated May 13, Garrison said the group's project will take longer than anticipated, but will hopefully still happen.

"We've overshot ourselves a little bit on this, but I think it's something that we're all very passionate about," she said. "We want to definitely see it happen."

Garrison added that the leadership program — composed of local leaders who wish to improve the community —  is required to complete a group project each year.

Dan Owens, the director of the Walton County Public Library System, said that when the group expressed interest in helping the library, he voiced the need for a quiet room.

"It will make the services that we provide much better," Owens said. "There are people that are using the library on a daily basis to study and it really would be beneficial if they had an area where there were fewer distractions."

He added weekly events often clash with those studying.

The additional room — separated by glass to maintain the view of the lake yard — would be used to either house events or give studious visitors their own space.

Garrison hoped the installation would open the door for future projects in libraries across the county.

"I think that having that space available would bring more people in," she said. "A lot of people might be deterred to go to the library, especially if they've got children. ... Providing that space would give those children a place to go."

Donations to the Leadership Walton project are tax deductible and can be made through the Walton County Chamber Foundation or the program's GoFundMe at www.gofundme.com/defuniak-library-kids-quiet-room/donate.