About every four years, the Jahn Library organises an International Janheinz Jahn Symposium, focusing on a central issue in African literary studies (e.g., creative writing in African languages in 2004, African crime fiction in 2008, and the African bildungsroman in 2014). The symposia are meant to provide a platform for international scholars of African literatures and to enhance dialogue between them. Guests and speakers regularly include African writers. The next symposium is planned for 2018.

Irregularly, the Jahn library organises smaller workshops and lectures as well as readings featuring African writers.

The Jahn Library has repeatedly organised exhibitions at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies and other institutions. Furthermore, treasures from the collection are displayed in a showcase at the entrance to the Jahn library, often in relation to special events. Since October 2009, the showcase has featured a series of displays on "African Literature in the 21st Century".