Nellie W. Swanson (1894-1980) retired in 1963 after serving 25 years as librarian at MSTC. She was a strong advocate of the need for the library to hold important documents and books on the history of North Dakota, as well as a participant in various academic organizations.
Plum Valley Women describes her as "very much in command in her library" and a person with "very strong feelings." Students did not browse the bookshelves themselves; they required a librarian’s help, and had to be properly dressed as well. Swanson is said to have made a young woman cry by reading her the riot act because she had returned a book wearing slacks. During her years as librarian, overcrowding became an increasing problem. The 1976 Beaver yearbook quoted her as saying "I didn't dare gain a pound, and why the floor didn't go down in that building I have no idea, Only the good Lord held it up." Students understood that the library was a place of study, and Swanson continued to be an integral part until her retirement.