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 Club

We have three book clubs – two on Saturdays and one on Monday night, contact the library if you are interested.

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:

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




book cover
A Cold Dark Place | Toni Anderson
Dry Bones in the Valley | Tom Bouman
Sixteen Horses | Greg Buchanan
book cover view of the back of the head of a woman, wearing a head covering, through an old fashioned window pane
Outsider | Linda Castillo
book cover forest in the mid and distant views with a misty foreground in greys and black
The Recipient | Audrey J. Cole
City of Ghosts | Ben Creed
Cry for Help | Wendy Dranfield
The Dead Woman of Debtford | Ann Granger
Cross My Heart | D K Hood
Lisa Jackson | The Third Grave
Guilt Trip | Sadie Jones
Mary Kubica | Local Woman Missing
Run for Cover | Michael Ledwidge
Killsong | Michael Mannock
Lesley Pearce | Suspects
Daniel Silva | The Cellist
False Witness | Karin Slaughter
When Things are Alive They Hum | Hannah Bent
Two Women in Rome | Elizabeth Buchan
The Eighth Wonder | Tania Farrelly
book cover with blue and white VW Combi Van
Aria's Travelling Book Shop | Rebecca Raisin
The Girl Behind the Wall | Mandy Robotham
The Good Wife of Bath | Karen Brooks
The Garden of Hopes and Dreams | Barbara Hannay
The Missing Girl | Kerry McGinnis
Book cover
Blood Trail | Tony Park
Sisters of the Resistance | Christine Wells
Magpie Lane | Lucy Atkins
The Night She Disappeared | Lisa Jewell
Not a Happy Family | Shari Lapena
Girls Who Lie | Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir
Silver Tears | Camilla Lackberg
Rites of Srping | Anders de le Motte
The Doll | Yrsa Sigurdardottir
book cover
Daughter of the River Country | Dianne O'Brien
A Week in September | Peter Rees & Sue Langford


Rosemary's September newsletter book summaries

Author of the Month | Shari Lapena
Shari was a lawyer and English teacher before turning to writing fiction.

She now lives in Toronto. Her work has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and in 2004 she won the Great Toronto Literary Project.

Book of the Month
Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells

Paris 1944 The war is nearly over, but for members of the resistance in occupied France, it is more dangerous than ever before. Gabby Foucher loathes the Nazis, though as the concierge of number 10 rue Royale, she does her best to avoid conflict – unlike her bolder sister, Yvette who finds trouble at every turn.

Then both sisters are recruited into the resistance by Catherine Dior and swept into a treacherous world of spies, fugitives and intrigue. While Gabby risks everything for the man she is hiding from the Nazis. Yvette must decide whether to trust an enigmatic diplomat who seems to have guessed her secret. As the threat of betrayal draws ever closer, one slip could mean the deaths of many. And Gabby and Yvette must make choices they might regret.


Recommended Reads
The Recipient by Audrey J Cole

A year after serial killer Michael Rhodes is executed and allowed to donate part of his brain as an organ transplant. Wade gets called to a murder scene that shares uncanny similarities to those of the late Michael. Elle is overjoyed when her husband Brian receives a life saving organ transplant. There lives seem to return to normal, but Elle notices a disturbing change in Brian’s behaviour. Elle learns that her husband’s organ donor was Michael Rhodes, she fears that Brian now has the mind of a serial killer… Rhodes.

Asia’s Travelling Book Shop by Rebecca Raisin

Aria Summers knows what she wants.

A life on the road with best friend Rosie and her beloved camper-van-cum-book shop, and definitely, no romance.

But when Aria finds herself falling-after one too many glasses of wine, from a karaoke stage
into the arms of Jonathan, a part of her comes back too life for the first time
in years.

Since her beloved husband died Aria has worn off love, unless it’s the kind you can find in the pages of a book. One love of her life is quite enough. And so Aria tries to forget Jonathan and sets off for a summer to remember in France. But could this trip change Aria’s life forever?

Outsider by Linda Castillo

While enjoying a sleigh ride with his children, an Amish widower, Adam Lengacher, discovers a wrecked car with an unconscious woman inside Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is shocked to recognize the driver: fellow cop Gina Colorosa. Years before, Kate and Gina were best friends. Now Gina reveals a shocking story of betrayal- and murder that has forced her to run for her life…

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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