TyLisa C. Johnson is a staff reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer, with a focus on the city's public library system.

Latest Stories

Entrepreneur gives young tech developers a jump start on careers at Jumpbutton Studio

You don't have to wait to jump-start your dreams. At least, that's what Nicodemus Madehdou, founder of local high-tech start-up Jumpbutton Studio, believes.

Jumpbutton Studio co-founder speaks about start-up origins

Nicodemus Madehdou, 22, co-founded Jumpbutton Studio when he was still in high school. Here he explains the company's inception.

Free Library set to receive $3.5 million from city for 2020 and an accountability plan for its leaders

“The libraries have to be more of a priority, and they have to meet the needs of the communities that they serve,” said Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who supports the funding increase.

Report: Patrons give Free Library’s renovated branches high marks

“Great material, albeit it seems thin in terms of books,” wrote one surveyed customer.

Lawmakers to propose bill that they say could bring $85 million to Philly schools

“On too many occasions, on too many days, we send our kids to schools that are toxic,” Hughes said.

Mystery shoppers get the scoop on what it’s like to be a patron at the Free Library

The whole purpose, Reardon said, was to “establish a baseline of what it’s like to be a customer here.”

Philly isn’t the only city struggling to keep its library system afloat; celebs decry budget cuts in NYC

Sarah Jessica Parker was just one celebrity to weigh in on the funding battles, saying cuts to the New York libraries "would be a big mistake that would leave countless New Yorkers without access to key services.”

Ceiling collapse at Fishtown Library is the latest example of the high cost of deferred maintenance

Not unlike building issues across the 54-branch system, its roof had leaked on and off for about five years, said a supporter. “The reality is we need a new roof.”

Borrow a ukulele or a necktie? Learn yoga? Unconventional ways to maximize a Free Library card.

Patrons can rent musical instruments, trace their family's history, and watch thousands of movies on a free Netflix-like streaming service.

South Philly library’s latest project: Distributing personal hygiene kits

"The hope is that it will make someone's life easier for a week," said Link Ross, children's librarian at South Philadelphia library.