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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


Inspired by Murder | Audrey J Cole
The Warning | Kathryn Croft
Enemy at the Gates | Vince Flynn
Between The Crosses | Matthew Frank
The Killer Inside | Matthew Frank
The Unheard | Nicci French
Little Bones | Patricia Gibney
A Slow Fire Burning | Paula Hawkins
A Narrow Door | Joanne Harris
Savage Road | Chris Hauty
Unholy Murder | Lynda La Plante
The Joy and Light Bus Company | Alexander McCall Smith
The Dark Remains | William McIlvanney/Ian Rankin
Hand for a Hand | Frank Muir
The Man Who Died Twice | Richard Osman
The Shadow | James Patterson
The Madness of Crowds | Louise Penny
The Women of Pearl Island | Polly Crosby
Snow Country | Sebastian Faulks
Beautiful World where are You | Sally Rooney
The Wish | Nicholas Sparks
The Inheritance | Gabriel Bergmoser
At the end of the Day | Liz Byrski
Corporal Hitler's Pistol | tom Keneally
Apples Never Fall | Liane Moriarty
Showtime | Judy Nunn
The Cuckoo's Cry | Caroline Overington
When you are Mine | Michael Robotham
Birds of a Feather | Tricia Stringer
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
Echos of War | Tania Blanchard
The Duchess | Wendy Holden
Daughters of War | Dinah Jefferies
The Jealousy Man | Jo Nesbo
Snow Drift | Helene Tursten
Daring to Fly | Lisa Millar
Non Ficton
The Nine | Gwen Strauss
The Reading room
A Book Club & Discussion Group

Rosemary's November newsletter

Author of the Month | Amor Towles

Amor was raised in Boston. He graduated from Yale College and received an M.A. in English from Stanford University.
He is a principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children. He is on the boards of the Library of America and the Yale Art Gallery.

Book of the Month

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.

In June 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for the only mistake he’s ever made.

With his mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed by the bank, Emmett plans to pick up his eight-year-old Brother Billy and head to California to start a new life.

But when the warden drives off, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm had been stowed away
in the trunk of the warden’s car. They have a very different plan for Emmett and Billy’s future, one that will take the four of them on a fateful journey in the opposite direction – to New York City.


Recommended Reads

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty.

Joy and Stan had retired after selling their successful tennis school business.
One night a stranger, Savannah knocks on their door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. So Joy and Stan are happy to help her.

Later, when Joy goes missing and Savannah is nowhere to be found the police question Stan. But someone who claims to be innocent, he seems to have a lot to hide …

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too ? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can the Thursday Murder Club find the killer, before the killer finds them?

The Duchess by Wendy Holden.

A new historical fiction work about Wallis Simpson, the woman who changed the course of British history.
Written in a dual timeline, the story opens in 1972 with Wallis accompanying Edward’s V111 body back to England for his funeral. Then the story flashes back to 1928 with the recently married Wallis Simpson moving to London with her second husband Ernest.

This is a dramatic and richly detailed book about one of the most iconic romances of the 20th Century.

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.

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