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Walton takes reins as Kenly librarian

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KENLY — Lifelong town native Erin Pope Walton is the new librarian at the Kenly Public Library. She succeeds her mother, Betty Pope, who is stepping down after serving as Kenly’s librarian for the past 12 years.

Walton, 27, began her duties on July 1.

Walton is a 2010 graduate of North Johnston High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in literature at Wake Forest University in 2014 and received her master’s degree in management, also from Wake Forest, in 2015.

Walton worked for three years with Verizon Enterprise Solutions in Cary as a project manager prior to accepting the Kenly job.

She is married to husband Chris Walton and the couple has an 8-month-old daughter, Mia.

“My family has lived in Kenly for six generations, so I have always had examples to look up to,” said Walton. “I have always been told of the importance of community service. A big part of the decision in my taking this job was being able to give my daughter a role model and an environment that promotes reading and where reading is the focal point. The library is where my heart is, but is also the place I am from. It is a combination of not only my love of reading but also my love of the community.”

“I grew up coming to the library and I always thought it was a fun and magical place,” said Walton. “Now I am lucky enough to be able to do it as my job.”

Town Manager Michael Douglas said Walton was hired at a starting salary of $33,500.

“Erin Walton brings a wealth of knowledge to the Kenly Public Library,” Douglas said. “She grew up in the library system and I feel she will continue to improve the program and services in Kenly.”