When Hindi Krinsky, a mother of five and teacher, died suddenly at the age of 32, three registered Little Free Library book-sharing boxes were created in her honor. Then something unexpected happened: Hindi inspired more than 40,000 books to be shared with children around the country.
“Hindi always promoted the power of reading and the incredible journeys that we can take when reading a book,” her friend Leslie Gang says.
Hindi, an English teacher at Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School in Lawrence, New York, passed away due to complications of Crohn’s disease in August 2018. She leaves behind husband Dovid Kanarfogel, 35; triplets Eliana, Hudi and Ezra, 9; Dorit, 5; and Abie, 3. But her dedication to literacy continues to touch countless young readers.
“Her husband Dovid and I worked together to build a small library box in Dovid’s children’s school community in Hindi’s memory,” says Leslie. She and Dovid went on to create two more Little Free Library book-sharing boxes, beautifully hand-painted and filled with books for the students to enjoy. They hope to place a little library at each of the school’s four campuses.
“While we gathered books to fill the boxes as we installed them (each built with a different theme, design, and audience in mind), a phenomenon occurred in the sense that the community gathered to donate hundreds upon hundreds of books to help us fill our libraries—too many to fill the boxes,” Leslie says.
“Slowly, Dovid and I expanded our initial project into a community book drive in Hindi’s memory. When we saw that the books kept coming, we formed an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Hindi’s Libraries and began partnering with publishing companies including Scholastic, Penguin Random House, Hachette, Barnes and Noble, and Disney Publishing. Disney sends us thousands of new books each week to donate.
“Since January of 2019, we have now provided more than 40,000 books to 350+ organizations spanning across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Israel.”
We are honored to welcome Hindi’s family into the Little Free Library community and are grateful for their work to share books with children who need them.
“We have been asked by various people in our community if we are thinking of opening other library boxes either in residential or commercial areas,” says Leslie. “The answer is yes, there are some projects in the works, but nothing has yet been set in stone. We would love to build and expand Little Free Libraries in Hindi’s honor.”
Photos courtesy of Leslie Gang. Artwork on all sides of the little library pictured by Shelley Wapniak.