One thing the library will be looking for are people who, in exchange for access to the Dream Lab co-working spaces, are willing to share their expertise for one hour a month and offer a class. The goal is to foster of environment of collaboration and sharing among the people using the lab, said Cooper.
The library is already offering classes in 3-D Printing, Photoshop CS6, Digital Painting, and Illustrator, among others.
Cooper believes that the types of instruction and level of complexity, such as mobile app development, will increase as the Dream Lab grows, but also as businesses realize what the library is doing. Cooper is open to any type of instruction, and hopes the tech community responds.
Asked if instruction might include help on using Salesforce, or navigating cloud services and pricing -- Cooper nods vigorously. The want to offer as much as possible, she said.
The library is also building a development pipeline through a partnership with 1776, an incubator platform with offices near the White House. The library expects to be working with very early stage efforts.
If these initial efforts can go far enough, the expectation is that they may need more advanced support. That's where 1776 can step in.
Donna Harris, the co-founder of the 1776 incubation platform, said their service provides workspace "but more importantly access to a community and connections." There are 150 firms using this space, she said.
The 1776 incubator is for those who have already fleshed-out their idea and are now at the stage of commercializing and scaling, said Harris. Their resources "are meant to help companies think about a high-growth trajectory," she said.
Harris sees the library helping the "entrepreneurial curious" explore their options and discover how they can get started on the path to developing a business. She believes there are thousands of people harboring ideas for a businesses, "and the library becomes a point of entry for them."
The library's available tools include four licenses for the Adobe Creative Suite running on Macs, said Nicholas Kerelchuk, manager of the Digital Commons.
Use of the 3D printer is open to anyone, and the only charge is for materials. Printing out a copy of the Washington Monument (which someone did) is probably less than $2 dollars.
"We have always been a provider of education, it doesn't matter what that education is," said Kerelchuk.