For about a year, a note affixed to the pay phone in the downtown library explained that the phone was not working and that the staff was “aware of the situation.” Now the note is gone–along with the phone.

Thanks to the ubiquity of cell phones, pay phones are going the way of party lines. The Michigan Union’s last one disappeared “a couple of years ago,” says an employee, and City Hall’s vanished when construction started on the police-courts addition. Briarwood Mall lost its “when the contractor just stopped servicing them,” says mall manager Ida Hendrix–and the same thing happened at the Delonis Center homeless shelter. But a few still survive–at the hospitals and the train and bus stations and at odd places on the street, like the one outside Eastern Accents on Fourth.