Each week, the Branch Library on 155 Wescott Road offers on-demand story time between 2 and 4 p.m. for infants to preschool-aged children. There is a different theme each week, and on Dec. 29, the books were about nighttime and nocturnal animals.  Catherine Bart photo

SOUTH PORTLAND — The South Portland Public Library encourages families to take advantage of quiet Sunday afternoons with its “on-demand” Flash Story Time at the Branch location.

The Branch Library on 155 Wescott Road offers one-on-one story time for infants to preschoolers every Sunday, from 2-4 p.m., said librarian Lisa Harrington.

Songs, finger puppets and a variety of books are offered, with a different theme each week, she said.

“It will often be what’s going on in nature, sometimes certain animals or seasons,” said Harrington. “We’ve done silly ones before, like bath time. We’ve done pirates, kindness. One time we did bravery.”

Harrington and librarian Scottie Siewers said that they will switch up the stories depending on the age of the children participating. For infants, the staff will pull out story boards with faces and pictures.

“Because it’s a small space, and usually a small group, we can cater to the age,” said Harrington.

“Some kids are intimidated by larger groups, so one thing that’s nice about the on-demand thing is that it could be a personal, one-on-one or two-on-one experience,” said Siewers. “Although we’re thinking of switching back to a regular group, and that can be a little more involved. They might have an art project or sort of an activity.”

For the time being, Harrington added, the library will continue doing the one-on-one style of storytelling.

Harrington said that many parents appreciate having an open-ended event on the weekends.

“It’s nice that it’s a loose thing on Sundays,” she said. “A lot of families really like that, especially working parents. They like being able to pop in on Sunday when it’s convenient.”

While the Branch Library is small and not as well-known, Siewers said that can actually be a benefit to its patrons.

“Particularly on Sunday we have a lot of regulars, and there are a lot of people who are local, and this is a reliable place,” she said. “This is one of the few libraries open on Sundays as well. We’ll also have people in Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough come. But certainly, the collection is much smaller.”

The Branch Library recently expanded its hours to 1 to 5 p.m. every day, except Saturday, said Harrington.

“We would just encourage families to come out on Sunday,” she said. “We’re small but mighty.”

On Fridays, the Branch Library also offers board games from 3 to 5 p.m.

Comments are not available on this story.