User Tools

Site Tools


John Erik Spicer

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


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


Librarian, Public Libraries of Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa
Librarian, Universities of Victoria and Michigan
Assistant Librarian and 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 John (1959). Trade Unions in Libraries; the Experience in the United States. CLA Occasional paper, no.23. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association


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


Longest continuing serving Parliamentary official with the rank of Deputy Minister.
Served under eight Prime Ministers and reported to 12 Speakers of the Senate and 10 Speakers of the House of Commons.
Canadian Library Association; life member, president 1979/80
Ontario Llibrary Association; life member, president, 1962/63
Member of the Governor Generals’ Foot Guards. Retired in 1962 with the rank of Major
Did wartime service with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Infantry Corp. `


“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.“


Obituaries, Globe and Mail, Oct 27, 2014, p.S8
Ottawa Citizen,10/04/2014, Obituary Accessed June 25, 2015
Guest book

history/biographies/spicer_e.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/02 18:34 by tbodak