In 780 Charlemagne, King of the Franks, met Alcuin at Parma, and recognized that Alcuin was a scholar who could help him achieve a renaissance of learning and reform of the Church. Charlemagne took scholarship seriously. He had learned to read as an adult, although he never quite learned how to write. At this time of reduced literacy, outside of the clergy, writing of any kind was an achievement for kings, many of whom were illiterate.
Charlemagne induced Alcuin to move to the royal court as Master of the Palace School at Aachen, where Alcuin remained from 782-796. This school was attended by members of the royal court and the sons of noble families. At Aachen Alcuin established a great library, for which Charlemagne obtained manuscripts from the Imperial Library of Constantinople.
Also at Aachen, Alcuin developed the Carolingian minuscule, which became the writing standard for the eighth and ninth centuries.
"The use. . . of a script more compact in the body and needing less time to write, may have been decided upon in view of the plans to proceed with a State educational project, the greatest ever undertaken in the West, or perhaps anywhere at any time in the Roman Empire. For such an enterprise the employment of an accelerated script would become an interest of State, or, to be accurate, of State and Church" (Morison, Politics and Script. . . . Barker ed.  143).
"The revolutionary character of the Carolingian reform cannot be over-emphasized; efforts at taming the crabbed Merovingian and Germanic hands had been under way before Alcuin arrived at Aachen . . . . The new minuscule was disseminated first from Aachen, and later from the influential scriptorium at Tours, France, where Alcuin 'retired' as an abbot" (Wikipedia article on Carolingian minuscule, accessed 11-23-2008).
Alcuin revised the church liturgy and the Bible and, along with another scholar, Theodulf of Orleans, was responsible for an intellectual movement within the Carolingian empire in which many schools were attached to monasteries and cathedrals, and Latin was restored as a literary language. Along with these schools there was a flowering of libraries and manuscript book production.