Helm Library was originally constructed as the Health & Physical Education Building. Designed by Brinton Davis, it contained a gymnasium with a 5,000 person capacity as well as classrooms, offices and a shooting range for the Physical Education and ROTC / Military Science departments. It has occasionally be confused with the Red Barn which was the gymnasium it replaced in 1931.
Plans were made to convert the building for a library while Diddle Arena was under construction. In 1963, renovations began which created a 70,000 square foot library that could accommodate over a 1/2 million books on three floors with a seating capacity for 1,000 students. The building also provided space for Library Science and Industrial Arts departments. It was dedicated on October 14, 1967 and named for librarian Margie Helm.