Mintz Library Cabinet

The Library Bureau   multi media sculpture, includes sound, photography, lights, and wood   48 x 32 x 24″  $3,800


The Library Bureau grew out of my project photographing librarians with favorite books in Carnegie Libraries. Andrew Carnegie funded 2500 “Carnegie Libraries,” 1700 in the United States, donating over a billion dollars in today’s funds. The website for that project is

None of the libraries I visited use card files anymore. Still, they are a sweet tie to history. I created an art project based upon one. I bought one on eBay that sat for a while as I decided what I wanted to do and had the energy to take on the partial restoration. At the same time, I started capturing recordings of SPAM phone calls coming into my cell phone.

Eventually, I came up with The Library Bureau.

I still don’t completely understand the meaning of the original project. It speaks to me about the importance of these public spaces and our commitment to knowledge and community.

The Library Bureau is more personal. On the top is a rack of 15 of my favorite books. These are not the “best” books. They reflect my environment, language, interests, and the world I have grown in. I know full well that there are great books I have not read or that I did not feel the way I felt these. These are all good books. Books I would highly recommend.

When you pull out a drawer, you hear me reading a passage from one of these books. A light on the control box tells you which book. Inside is a Carnegie Library photograph, a vintage index card, and one for that image.

On the control box is a large switch for “Books” or Schnooks.” When you switch to the “Schnooks” position, pulling out a drawer plays one of the spam calls on my phone.

To see the bureau in action please view:  

chuck mintz head shot

Charles Mintz