Roy Sjoberg declined nomination for a second year as president of the Hudson Area Joint Library Board earlier this month, and David Smith was unanimously elected to replace him.

Sjoberg said in a phone call Tuesday that he couldn't continue to devote the necessary time to the position.

"One of the consequences of being short three full-time equivalent employees from what the state recommends for a library with our service area is a lot of wear and tear on volunteers," Sjoberg said. "When I realized that volunteering more than 50 hours a month and was barely getting the job done, the prospect of continuing at that pace was not sustainable."

Sjoberg will remain a member of the board and the chair of its finance committee.

He said the duty as library board president had left him with less time for his law firm, church, Rotary club, political party and Sustain Hudson (a local organization that promotes "responsible" economic, social and environmental principles and practices).

Sjoberg was appointed to the library board by former mayor Dean Knudson, now the 30th District representative to the Wisconsin Assembly.

He was elected president of the board in June 2010, replacing former president Jim O'Connor of North Hudson.

Sjoberg's first challenge was overseeing the library's move into the former Nuclear Management Co. building at the corner of First and Vine streets.

Later in 2010, he embarked on an unsuccessful campaign to get the four municipal members -- the city of Hudson, the village of North Hudson and the towns of Hudson and St. Joseph -- to boost their funding of the library by 6.43 percent.

"I always like to see projects to their completion, and I realized this one was more of a marathon than it was a 5K," Sjoberg said Tuesday.

He said it was easier to leave the position knowing that Smith would replace him.

"I told David I will be as supportive for him as he was for me -- which was remarkable," Sjoberg said.

New president

Smith joined the library board last October, also appointed by former mayor Knudson.

He and his wife, Marya, have been city of Hudson residents since 1999.

A native of Davenport, Iowa, Smith has bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from Iowa State University. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran and has worked as an engineer in the food and chemical industries. He's now semi-retired.

"I'm looking forward to the year ahead," Smith said in a phone call Tuesday. "When I got onto the board, I was never anticipating being in this position. But there is an outstanding corps of committee members and volunteers that we're very fortunate to have. It's been a real pleasure to get to know these people."

Smith said the board will soon initiate a small fundraising campaign to provide additional operating funds for the library.

With the economy in its current condition, the library can't expect a budget increase from the member municipalities, he said.

Smith said he also expects a strategic plan for the library to be completed within the year -- and for a capital campaign to purchase the library building to begin.

The joint library now leases the building from the city of Hudson. The Hudson Police Department is also housed in the facility.

Another goal of Smith's is to increase the amount of adult programming at the library.

He said a survey conducted in advance of drafting the strategic plan shows strong community support for the library.

A high percentage of area residents listed the library as either essential or very important to the community, he said.