Workers at an Ontario library arrived at the facility on a recent morning to discover someone had dropped off four books that were 43 years overdue.

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Chris Walsh, community librarian at the Hamilton Public Library's Terryberry Branch, said someone anonymously returned the four books, a biography of William Shakespeare and three other books related to the bard, in the overnight return bin.

The stamps on the cards inside the books show they were due back in January 1976.

Library communications manager Shelley McKay said long-overdue books have been returned before, but 43 years is a new local record.

McKay said the library does not have a record of who checked the books out 43 years ago, as librarians at the time stamped the cards with due dates and did not take down names.

The library said the books would have accrued a total $3,175 in overdue fees by 1976 standards, but the facility now has a policy of wiping fines after four years.

"If there are people who have long overdue library books...we'd love to see them back at the library," Walsh told CBC News.