Â The small notice below “DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED” reads”No Berkshares please.” I saw this at the public library in Great Barrington, where Berkshares, a hugely publicized form of local currency, were launched last year. There was major national press coverage of this wonderful program, funded to the tune of $100,000 by some rich local donor, but it’s become something of a local embarrassment. I felt like a real grouch when in its early days I criticized it as ill-conceived, while everyone I knew – well, everyone at the yoga studio – was ecstatic. Now it’s come to this, that even the public library doesn’t want Berkshares.
Karen Christensen is an entrepreneur, environmentalist, and occasional scholar who also writes about how women gain and wield power. She is the owner and CEO of Berkshire Publishing Group, a research associate of the Fairbank Center at Harvard, a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations, and founder of the Train Campaign. She was a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Press, Read Karen’s occasional dispatches from the frontlines of international publishing at Karen's Letter on Substack, and follow her on Twitter etc @karenchristenze.
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