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Erik John Spicer

b. Apr. 9, 1926, Ottawa; d. Sept. 27, 2015, Ottawa


BA 1948 Victoria College, University of Toronto
BLS 1949 University of Toronto Library School
MALS 1959 University of Michigan Department of Library Science


1949–1950 Librarian, University of Victoria Library, University of Toronto
1950–1952 Circulation and Reference Librarian, Ottawa Public Library
1953–1954 Librarian, University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor
1954–1959 Deputy Librarian, Ottawa Public Library
1960–1994 Parliamentary Librarian of Canada [The first professional librarian in the position]
1994–2014 Parliamentary Librarian Emeritus and Honorary Officer of the House of Commons and the Senate


Spicer, Erik J. (1955). Library Co-Operation in Canada: College and University Libraries and Public Libraries. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association.

Spicer, Erik J. (1959). “The Graphic Publishers Limited, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1924–1932: Special Research for the Department of Library Science, University of Michigan.” AMLS thesis, University of Michigan Department of Library Science.

Spicer, Erik J. (1959). Trade Unions in Libraries; the Experience in the United States. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association. [CLA Occasional Paper, no. 23]

Spicer, Erik J. (1964). “Report to the CLA-ACB on [the] Need for Professional Librarians, 1962–1967.” Canadian Library 17, no. 4: 158–165.

Spicer, Erik J. (1966). “Graduate Work for Advanced Degrees and Needed Canadian Library Schools [speech excerpts].” In Proceedings of the Canadian Library Association 21st Annual Conference, Calgary, June 19–25, 1966, pp. 32–33. Ottawa: The Association.

Spicer, Erik J. (1969). “The Case against a Two-Year First Degree Course for Librarians in Canada: A Personal View.” Canadian Library Journal 26, no. 4: 292–294.

Spicer, Erik J. (1970). “The Library of Parliament.” Ontario Library Review 54, no.: 74–79.

Spicer, Erik J. (1982). “International Library Information. The Canadian Role.” Canadian Library Journal 39, no. 4: 219–223.


1962 Canadian Forces’ Decoration
1979 Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Michigan
1989 Distinguished Graduate Medal, Faculty of Library and Information Science, University of Toronto
1994 Member, Order of Canada


Did wartime service with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, 1944–1945
Longest continuing serving Parliamentary official with the rank of Deputy Minister.
Served under eight Prime Ministers and reported to twelve Speakers of the Senate and ten Speakers of the House of Commons.
Library Association of Ottawa, president 1955–1956
Canadian Library Association, life member, president 1979–1980
Ontario Library Association, life member, president 1962–1963
Institute of Professional Librarians of Ontario, president 1959–1960
Member of the Governor Generals’ Foot Guards. Retired in 1962 with the rank of Major
Member, ex-officio, National Library Advisory Board, 1970–1973


“He often said that he had the best job in the world. Indeed, it provided him the opportunity to lead, build, teach – and serve his country – and he enthusiastically embraced the challenges put before him (including determinedly learning French). Eric also saw himself as the chief custodian and advocate of the beautiful and iconic Library of Parliament building itself. He loved it deeply and reveled in showing it off to visitors – from school children to royalty and heads of state – and telling the story of its history, most post particularly how it was saved from the great fire of 1916. For 34 years he happily occupied one of the finest government offices in Ottawa with a panoramic view of the Ottawa River, Gatineau, Quebec and the hills beyond; and with an entrance leading from the Gothic splendor of the main reading room beyond.“


Erik Spicer was the youngest Parliamentary Librarian of Canada, Globe and Mail, October 26, 2014, [accessed April 14, 2024]
Ottawa Citizen,10/04/2014, Obituary Accessed June 25, 2015
Engles, Ernie. “Tribute to Erik Spicer.” Feliciter 60, no. 6 (December 2014): 38.

biographies/eric-john-spicer.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/14 15:09