This may be something everyone else but me knows, but let me get this on the web before I need it again and can't remember.
When you install a shared library as a user (for example, to
$HOME/usr/lib), and expect to be able to use that library when running
a program linked to that library, you need to set
prior to running the program.
For example, if you install tokyocabinet with
$HOME/usr, then compile and install mutt using that tokyocabinet,
then you must set
LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$HOME/usr/lib" and make it
accessible to mutt, otherwise mutt won't run.
The connection between the error message and solution was obvious... once I knew what the solution was... sigh. There goes another 8-12 hours of my time.