Just for fun, here’s one of the stranger facts from “The Mythical Average Public Library,” otherwise known as the May 2013 *Cites & Insights* (links for both the two-column and one-column version are here).

There’s one derived measure for FY2010 for which both of these statements are true:

- More than three-quarters of U.S. public libraries measure above average for the measure.
- Just under three-quarters of U.S. public libraries (72.3%) are
*below*average for the measure.

And it’s the same measure.

How is that possible? The first average is the national overall average for the measure. The second is the library average: The average of all library figures for this derived measure.

What’s the measure? You’ll find it on page 18 of the two-column version, page 37 of the one-column version.

I think you’ll also find the essay as a whole interesting and perhaps informative. Give it a try.