The Business Library was originally established as the library of the Bureau of Labor and Management and offered mainly reference services. The Bureau had been established in the College of Business in September of 1950.  In 1962 the library became part of the University library system. In 1965 the library moved to the new Phillips Hall.  Ground was broken in April 1991 for a new business administration building, and the library moved into the new Pappajohn Business Building facility in 1994.

In 1997 the library was named in honor of Des Moines businessman, philanthropist and civic leader Marvin A. Pomerantz, who had pushed for construction of the business administration building and for additional state funding for library materials.