At the request of the director, the Friends of the Library developed the idea for an annual, three-day Spring Literary Arts Festival (SLAF) that has been held each April since 2005. Each year, the Board of Trustees pledges the primary funding for the festival; however, additional support has been received through grants and contributions from the Friends of the Library, The Ohio Humanities Council, The Ohio Arts Council, various community organizations, as well as cash and in-kind contributions from local residents.
The festival is designed to provide local residents with direct contact to writers, scholars, and artists of national and international renown.
Previous festival themes have been: Celebrating Appalachia (2005), Entertaining Dreams (2006), Cherishing Family (2007), Remembering Community (2008), A Gathering of the Clans (2009), All That Jazz (2010), On the Home Front: Rivets, Rations, and Romance (2011), The Plot Thickens (2012), North and South: A House Divided (2013), and The "I's" Have It: Inspired, Imagined, and Illuminated (2014).
This year's theme is McArthur, 1815-2015: The Story of Our Town, celebrating the founding of McArthurstown, the county seat of Vinton County.
The library and the Friends have developed a program that offers a variety of events for all ages. The intention is that, while having strong educational, artistic, and cultural merit, many events—like the musical, dance, and theatrical performances—are obviously perceived as fun. Except for these performances, all events also include, for example, receptions (where audience members can talk informally with guest speakers and have books signed), the Linda Ogle Russ Memorial Writing Contest, exhibits, film screenings, book discussions, and staged readings.