Constructed on what was once known as "Gift Hill" in recognition of the 40-acre gift to the Benedictine Sisters from local farmer Charles "Chick" Swenson, Welder Library is dedicated to the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation and "to our friend and University leader Sister Thomas Welder, O.S.B., for her wisdom and leadership in growing the University of Mary" by Matt and JoAnn Butler, of Fargo, N.D., their children Twylah, Debra, Francis, and Dan and other supporters. Sister Thomas served as president of the University of Mary from 1978 to 2009. In addition to the library, the building houses a gallery, classrooms, computer laboratories, and houses faculty offices for the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Arts and Sciences.
The library seats 204 and currently has approximately 70,000 volumes, over 5,000 multi-media items, and subscriptions to nearly 600 journals and newspapers. Materials are accessible through an automated catalog. Welder Library has access to the periodical holdings of libraries in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Through OCLC, an international library network that provides automated support for cataloging, database searching, and inter-library loan, there is access to nearly 48 million items.
The Holy Family sculpture, located in front of Welder Library, is the university's second sculpture created by Greg Mueller and supported through the generosity of Myron and Marjory Atkinson of Bismarck. The sculpture suggests the inner dynamism of family unity while illustrating how Mary, Joseph, and Jesus each accepted the responsibility to step forward as leaders: Mary entering her role through the Annunciation, Joseph responding to his dream to care for Mary and the teenage son, Jesus accepting the call to lead us all to the Father. All are stepping forward to accept responsibility within a circle that invites a personal encounter between the viewer and the family ideals expressed in the sculpture.