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We are studying metadata from its initial generation to its use in accessing desired educational resources. With a testbed of lesson plans and activities, we are comparing the manually and automatically generated metadata for their retrieval effectiveness (i.e. ability to retrieve the most relevant resources); conducting a subjective evaluation of manually and automatically generated metadata as representations of the resource as judged by subject matter experts, and; conducting studies of users' search and navigation behavior when accessing the digital library. These evaluations successfully combine what we believe are necessary foci on how and whether metadata affects the user and system performance.