In 1954, a campus-wide rebuilding plan was proposed that included a free-standing library building. The building was to be constructed where McGowan South now stands. Included in the library plans were a micro-film laboratory, reading rooms, and a music room in which there would be daily concerts of classical, semi-classical, and folk music provided by the School of Music.
In 1963, another campus-wide plan was unveiled. "The Program for Greatness," as it was called, promoted a number of new buildings on campus, including a new library. The library would have study room for 800 students and could house 500,000 books.