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.

Multimedia message, originally uploaded by KarenChristensen.