Braille Circulating Library
2700 Stuart Avenue
Richmond VA 23220
Mission Statement
To serve the visually handicapped who are interested in good, sound Christian books, tapes, cassettes and compact discs.
CEO/Executive Director Rev Brian J. Barton Sr.
Board Chair Alfred Collins
Board Chair Company Affiliation Phillip Morris, USA - Retired
Contact Information
Address 2700 Stuart Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone 804 359-3743
Fax 804 359-4777
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1955
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $70,000.00
Projected Expenses $50,000.00
To serve the visually handicapped who are interested in good, sound Christian books, tapes, cassettes and compact discs.
During the past year, the BCL has been able to reorganize and bar code our 2000 volume Braille book collection, and upload this information into our library software. The BCL has also produced a new BCL Braille book catalog in Braille format, in house. This catalog has been sent to our patrons across the country. The BCL has also produced in Braille format the novel "Golf's Sacred Journey" using our Braille translation software and our embossing equipment. Our top goal is to broaden our outreach, fellowship, and relationships with the blind community.
The Board of Directors of the BCL have done an examination of our building and have determined 3 areas that need attention relative to age and energy costs and have developed an "Energy Conservation Renovation Project". Phase 1: Window Replacement-The existing windows are original to the building, made of wood and have muntins, jamb and sash pieces that have deteriorated over the years. Replacement of these windows with modern energy efficient, low/no maintence units that meet local historcial considerations will greatly reduce energy losses due to transmission and air leakage. Replacement cost, $65,000. Phase 2: Alternative Heating System- The present heating system is a steam boiler piped to radiators in each area of the building. We are looking to replace the boiler system with a modern heat pump system with a natural gas back up heat which will allow both better zone control of heating/cooling as well as more efficient energy usage. Replacement cost, $37,000. Phase 3: New Roof Membrane- The present roof is a built up system using asphalt and paper layers. Its age is unknown. The proposed replacement would be a solid PVC membrane with a 20 year guarantee. This type roof system is seamless and has a reputation for longevity and dependability. Repalcement cost, $40,000. The total cost for the "Energy Conservation Renovation Project" is $150,000 (including a 5.64% potential cost increase).
The BCL was founded in 1925 in Richmond, Virginia by Dr. James H. McConkey and Miss Louise Harrison McCraw. Originally, the BCL served only the state of Virginia, but its outreach now spans the entire United States and many foreign countries. The BCL is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and is sustained financially by concerned individuals, churches, foundations, and businesses. The BCL does not charge for any of its services, incurs no debt, and operates on a cash basis. The express purpose of the BCL is the dissemination of Christian and inspirational materials, primarily in Braille and audio format, free of charge, to the visually handicapped. Since 2002, Rev. Brian J. Barton, Sr. has served as the Executive Director.
CEO Statement
I believe that the BCL should be a ministry which partners with the blind community to fulfil its mission and vision. The vision statement of an organization is not necessarily what the organization currently is, but what the organization hopes to become. It provides the direction for the organization. The new vision statement of the BCL is "empowering the blind to reach their fullest potential". This statement contains two key words, "empowering" and "potential". Empowering means, "to enable, to provide with the means or opportunity, to make possible". Potential means, "existing in possibility, capable of development into actuality". To me, there is an inherent sense of hope in those words, and that is what the ministry of the BCL is about. The hope of helping the blind to reach their fullest potential in their personal, spiritual, social and vocational lives. To do this, the BCL seeks to continue to provide Christian and inspirational materials free of charge, to promote Braille literacy, to support fellowship with the blind community through special events and activities, and the encouraged integration of the blind into local churches.
Board Chair Statement
The Braille Circulating Library was started in the closet of its founder over 80 years ago. She had the vision to help those that could not see. The Library has always run as a faith-based ministry using funds given by those with the same vision. Today, the Library operates from an old church property on Stuart Avenue and is moving toward computer-based book tracking, the production of books in Braille and on line access to publications. As with any older property, there are continuing needs for maintance items and replacement of worn systems. Presently, we are seeking funding to replace the windows, replace the heating system, and repair/replace the roof. We believe these items will make us far more energy efficient and allow operating funds to be more ministry directed. Through the years, the focus of the Library has never wavered. We want the Library to be a ministry that is a broad service to the blind and vision impaired to enable them to share the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to provide Christian and inspirational materials for this. In addition, we would like to promote Braille literacy since this is foundational to gainful employment and the ability to futher the Gospel. 
Alfred L. Collins, President
The Braille Circulating Library for the Blind, Inc.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Board Chair
Board Chair Alfred Collins
Company Affiliation Phillip Morris, USA - Retired
Term Jan 2009 to Dec 2016
Board of Directors
Board Members
Rev. Brian Barton Sr.The Braille Circulating Library for the Blind, Inc. - Executive Director
Alfred Collins Phillip Morris, USA - Retired
David Cummings NW3C, Inc. , Deputy Director
Danny Gordon Tractebel Power, Inc. - Meter Technical Support Operation Department
William Jeffries Retired
David Johnsen CarMax
Steve Preas RepSource, Inc
Melody Roane Virginia Rehabilitation Center For the Blind and Vision Impaired - Director
Charles Samuels Hubert, Samuels, & Lewane - Attorney
David Sommers Dominion Resources Services - Supervisor Nuclear Licensing
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 1
Board Term Lengths 3
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 75
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 25
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Rev Brian J. Barton Sr.
Private Education, 20 years (Principal - 12 years, Supervisor - 4 years, Teacher - 4 years)
Private Business, 5 years (Management)
The Braille Circulating Library for the Blind, Inc., 11 years (Executive Director)
Former CEOs
Robert Gordon Jan 1976 - Dec 1999
Richard Roberts Jan 2000 - Jan 2002
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 10
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan? No
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
The BCL currently has five departments. (1) Braille Department: lend Braille books for 6 to 8 weeks for blind patrons to use. We also produce the novel "Golf's Sacred Journey" in Braille format. (2) Cassette Department: produce the monthly devotional, OUR DAILY BREAD, for our blind patrons. Also, lend cassette tapes for 6 to 8 weeks. (3) Talking Book Department: lend Talking Book Records to the blind who still use turntables. We are looking to transition this department to an interactive link on our web site. (4) Large Print Department: lend large print books for 6 to 8 weeks to those with limited vision. (5) Silver Publishing Society: print materials of Dr. James McConkey's books and booklets. Total budget for the five departments is $90,000.
Budget $90,000.00
CEO/ED/Board Comments
The biggest challenge is to bring awareness of the needs of the blind community to the sighted community and to then generate financial support for our ministry. We are blessed to have two leading blind professionals to have joined our Board of Directors: Melody Roane, the Director of the Virginia Rehabilitation Center For the Blind and Vision Impaired; and, Maurice Peret, NOMCT Rehabilitation Trainer with Blind Industries & Services of Maryland.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $70,000.00
Projected Expenses $50,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$58,414$54,237$56,242
Administration Expense$21,020$19,056$17,416
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.140.740.76
Program Expense/Total Expenses74%74%76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$113,652$102,379$119,198
Current Assets$45,668$26,717$32,047
Long-Term Liabilities----$0
Current Liabilities----$0
Total Net Assets$113,652$102,379$119,198
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose Energy Conservation Renovation Project: Phase 1 - Window Relacement, $65,000; Phase 2 - Alternative Heating System, $37,000; Phase 3 - New Roof Membrane, $40,000.
Goal $150,000.00
Dates Oct 2010 to Dec 2015
Amount Raised To Date $17,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 5/2016View
Foundation Comments
  • If an organization has gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets at the end of the tax year less than $500,000, it can choose to file Form 990-EZ.
  • Form 990 prepared by Dixon, Hughes, Goodman, LLP
  • Financial information provided by Form 990, with supplemental information provided by the financial statements.