Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was both an industrialist and a philanthropist. He constructed 2,811 libraries throughout the world (but principally in the US where he built 1,946). The library at NDAC was the first Carnegie-funded institution in North Dakota. (Fargo later had two other Carnegie libraries—one at Fargo College and one public library downtown). In 1904, President John H. Worst, wrote to Andrew Carnegie's personal secretary asking about the possibility of having Mr. Carnegie fund a library building on campus. Carnegie did not seem interested for quite some time, until a friend of his personal secretary, Mr. Isaac Morcosson, passed through Fargo and visited the NDAC library. When he noticed the great need for a new building, he influenced Carnegie, who generously granted $15,000 at President Worst's next request. President Worst then raised $4,500 privately, but still short, he contacted Mr. Carnegie again, who sent a second donation of $3,400. The library, under the guidance of architect W.C. Albrant, was built in 1905 (the cornerstone was laid in June).
The formal dedication of library took place on the evening of January 18, 1906. The ceremonies were held in the college chapel. The Master of Ceremonies was Maxx Batt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Modern languages. The dedicatory address was given by the Rev. Dr. Dudley. College President Worst also addressed the crowd and musical selections were given by the college orchestra and the college choral association. The Edith Hills Girls Club presented a plaster cast bust of William Shakespeare to the library. After the dedication ceremony, attendees attended an open house at the library which initially housed a collection of 9,000 volumes and had an adequate seating capacity for 75 of the 308 students enrolled.