December 2021

Latest library news

Our Library


The BMI Collections includes hardback, paperback, DVDs, and talking book cassettes across a number of genres including latest releases and old favourites in crime fiction, mystery and suspense, Scandinavian thrillers, great Australian writers, and a great range of non-fiction titles. Plus, there are complete sets of ‘same character’ series – numbered in sequence on the spine.

Despite the library operating in a heritage space, everything that could be expected in a modern library can be found at the BMI, such as free internet access, photocopying, local daily newspapers and a reading area with comfortable armchairs.

Find a book

Explore our fiction and non fiction catalogue >

We are soon to be the beneficiaries of the Ballarat Film Society DVD collection- keep an eye out for more great films to borrow


New books are added to the collection for borrowing each month, which will be in our monthly newsletter and on this page >.

 Book Sales

Now and again the collection is reviewed and some surplus, duplicate or non-current titles are made available for sale in the library. Keep an eye on the newsletter of latest news page for updates.


We do take donations of books in good order.

Contact Rosemary for details:

Book Clubs – the reading room
The Reading Room is a member run book reading and discussion group that meets monthly,  all are welcome to join but you must be or become a member. The sessions are free and when possible will be held in our Heritage Reading Room. The titles discussed will be published in our monthly newsletter and social media and Latest Library News on this website. 
If you wish to participate please go to The Reading Room webpage and register your interest.
other Book Clubs 

We also run other Book Clubs, if you would like information on these sessions please contact the Librarian:

Self Selection Loan Books

Our Library members are welcome to make an on-line selection of books for collection. Please select the category you have an interest in below, note the book title and ID number on the Reserve Form and Rosemary will do the rest.

  • All fiction titles are sorted by author.
  • Non-Fiction books are listed twice, once by date, so you can find the latest titles, and they are also listed by common subject titles and authors and Authors.

Click & Collect

For Click & Collect services follow the same principle as ‘self selection’ and wait for Rosemary’s instruction. We will operate this service during the pandemic when permitted. If in doubt submit a reserve request and we will advise you.

It is important to note that is not possible to visit the library under the current restrictions. If in doubt contact Rosemary via the form or ring the Library.  It is also important that when you are able to collect please ensure you check-in via the QR CODE.


Updated August 2021

Australian Fiction




Non-Fiction by Date

Non-Fiction by Subject


The Lost Boy | Rachel Amphlett
Mercy | David Baldacci
The Last Thing He Told Me | Laura Dave
The Judge's List | John Grisham
What Will Brun | James Oswald
A Darker Reality | Anne Perry
Over My Dead Body | Jeffrey Archer
The Women of Pearl Island | Polly Crosby
Silverview | John Le Carre
Once There Were Wolves | Charlotte McConaghy
The Magician | Colm Toibin
The Lincoln Highway | Amor Towles
The Bookseller's Secret | Michelle Gable
A Woman of Intelligence | Karen Tanabe
The Hush | Sara Foster
Osprey Reef | Annie Seaton
The Party Crasher | Sophie Kinsella
Midnight in the Snow | Karen Swan
The Night of the Fire | Kjell Eriksson
The Girl Who Died | Ragnar Jonasson
The Survivors | Alex Schulman
Nellie | Robert Wainwright
Funkytown | Paul Kennedy
The Rising Tide | Sam Lloyd

Rosemary's December newsletter

Author of the Month | Hannah Kent

Hannah was born in Adelaide, and is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award.

Book of the Month

My Adventurous Life by Dick Smith.

Dick Smith is a remarkable and proud Australian. He has been part of our national consciousness for over fifty years as an innovative and astute businessman,
a ground-breaking adventurer general philanthropist and a provocateur for the causes he feels deeply about. Yet despite his great success and achievements, Dick has remained down to earth and close to his roots.

Dick shares his inspiring story and the lessons he’s learned about staying true to yourself. He has welcomed the freedoms that wealth brings, but has found the simple life more fulfilling. His responsibility is to the world and the people we share it with.

Recommended Reads

The Way it is Now by Garry Disher.

Charlie is living in his family’s holiday house, on forced leave since he made a mess of things at work.

Things have never been easy for Charlie, Twenty years earlier his mother went missing in the area, believed murdered. His father has always been the main suspect, though her body was never found.

Until now the foundations are being dug for a new house on a vacant block. The skeletal remains of a child and an adult are found and Charlie’s past comes crashing in on him…

The Spy’s Wife by Fiona McIntosh.

Evie, a widow and station master’s daughter, helplessly looks out for the weekly visit of the handsome man she and her sister call The Southerner on their train platform in the wilds of northern England. When polite salutations shift to friendly conversations, they become captivated by each other’s reticent manner.

With rumours coming out of Germany that Hitler may be stirring up war again, local English authorities have warned against spies. Even Evie becomes suspicious of her new suitor, Roger, but all is not what it seems

The Women of Pearl Island by Polly Crosby.

When Tartelin Brown accepts a job with the reclusive Marianne Stourbridge, she finds herself on a wild island with a mysterious history.

Tartelin is tasked with hunting butterflies for Marianne’s research But she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing than the curious creatures that inhabit the landscape.

Because the island and Marianne share a remarkable history, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars, and some terrible secrets.

As Tartelin pieces together Marianne’s connection to the island, she must confront her own reasons for being there. Can the two women finally face up to the painful memories that bind them so tightly to the past.?

What will Burn by James Oswald.

The charred remains of an elderly woman are discovered in a burned out gamekeeper’s cottage, hidden away in woodland to the west of Edinburgh.

What is at first assumed to be a tragic accident, begins to take on a more sinister aspect as Detective Inspector Tony McLean digs deeper.

There is far more to the victim that her humble surroundings suggest…

Stay informed of our new releases

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Would you like to suggest book titles, authors or categories that you would like to borrow from us?

Batten Lending Library

Visit our website for more information and resource material and to view the book listings of the lending library and the heritage collection (these pages are currently being updated).

Who was Mr Batten

The lending library plays a major role in the life of the institute and services over 600 members. For most of its years it has been known as the “Reading Room” but was renamed the “Batten Room” in 2000. This was to recognise the first of two paid BMI secretaries and head Librarians: WH Batten and his son HC Batten. Between them they served in these positions for 92 years: remarkable terms of office.

William served from 1859 – 1910 and Harry from 1910 – 1951. William had two wives (the first died) and 19 children.

The lending library is part of the original 1860 building that comprised the reading room, library, office and two classrooms on the ground floor. A large hall, capable of accommodating 1200 people occupied the upper floor. The building cost around £3400.

Learn more about the history of the BMI. Book a tour.


The BMI can provide public tours of the building. Get in touch with us to book in a tour for your group.

Views: 0

BMI Fundraiser

The Hideaways,
The Harmonies &
Surf Shadows. 

2 course dinner & lots
of dancing