In April 2003, in the chaotic days following the fall of Baghdad, looters broke into the library, Hussein says.
Her husband brought his gun from home and the two stood sentinel over the building, but not before looters made away with about 10,000 books and magazines, leaving about 5,000 volumes behind.
One day around that time, a U.S. tank pushed into the property and punched a hole in the wall, Hussein says. Military interpreters told her they were looking for Iraq's former leader, she says. Hussein says she used her first paycheck from the city to patch up the hole and mend the fence outside.
Soon after, she visited area mosques and posted signs asking residents to return her books. More from USA Today...