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University of Michigan School of Information


Erik J Spicer

A headshot of Erik Spicer

Erik John Spicer (1926-2014) served as Parliamentary Librarian of Canada from 1960-1994. He was appointed Parliamentary Librarian at the age of 34, the youngest person to ever hold the position. He came to the Library of Parliament after working with several public and university libraries, including the Ottawa Public Library and the University of Michigan Library. He was also the first Parliamentary Librarian with a degree in library science. Spicer was recognized for his service to Canada with the Order of Canada in 1994.

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Spicer graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master of Library Science in 1959, and from the University of Toronto with a Master of Library Science, a Bachelor of Library Science and a BA. 

In his 34 years on the job, he strengthened the library’s administration, adopted new technology and transformed it into the essential tool it is today for parliamentarians of all parties.

Spicer served under eight prime ministers — from Diefenbaker to Jean Chrétien — 10 Speakers of the House and 12 Speakers of the Senate. He retired in 1994 as Canada’s longest serving deputy minister, a record that still stands.