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Officials celebrate library pandemic response

Photo by Jamie Wiggan

Robinson Township Library staff and board members were honored by the township and state for national library week.

By Jamie Wiggan

Staff Writer


The Robinson Township Library has won praise from state and local officials for keeping the community engaged and educated throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

State Rep. Anita Kulik, who represents portions of Robinson in the Harrisburg legislature, signed an official citation April 6 recognizing the library staff “for being true heroes in this time of crisis.”

Kulik’s husband, Joe, a local attorney, read aloud the citation during the township’s April commissioners’ meeting.

“The staff of the Robinson Township Library worked under difficult conditions to provide services and programs to residents,” Kulik said.

During the same meeting, Robinson officials passed a proclamation of their own, honoring the local library and recognizing the township’s participation in National Library Week, running April 4–10.

While the library has spent much of the past 12 months operating under curbside pick-up only, staff have kept up a range of virtual programming throughout the pandemic, including book clubs for adults, children’s book readings and free informational sessions on topics like financial literacy.

“Today’s libraries are more about what they can do with and for their communities, and not just about what they have on their shelves,” Frank Piccolino, township said, reading from the proclamation.

The library has been open to the public since early March.

“They are very happy to be coming back into the library and we’ve very happy to have them,” said Sharon Helfrich, library director.

Summer festivities

After much of Robinson’s summer programming was suspended in 2020 in light of the pandemic, Commissioner’s President Sam Abbata announced the return of public festivities this year during his remarks April 6.

As well as resuming annual events like the Independence Day celebrations, fall festival and car cruise, Abbatta said the township will also host a new summer concert series showcasing local talent.

The DooWop Doctors and 13-year old Ashley Marina, a Kennedy resident who rose to fame through America’s Got Talent, are among those slated to perform.

Tax extension

Also during the meeting, commissioners extended the township’s real estate tax deadlines for 2021 to help residents during the course of the pandemic.

Residents now have until Aug. 31 to pay their taxes at face value and will receive a 2% discount if they pay by June 30.

In a separate move designed to help struggling business owners, commissioners voted to waive the mechanical device fee charged to bar and restaurant owners for operating pool tables, jukeboxes and other entertainment devices.

More details about summer programming and taxes are available at

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