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Program can't find shared libraries

I've built an application that consists of serveral executable
programs and several shared libraries.  The programs need the 
shared libraries, but the programs can't find the libraries. 
Here is an error I receive when trying to start a program:

	/usr/local/panther/run/util/prodev: error while 
	loading shared libraries: libsmdb.so: cannot open 
	shared object file: No such file or directory

The app's build process put several shared libraries in a /lib
subdirectory of the app's home directory.  What's the best 
solution?  Here are some of my ideas:

1. copy the libraries to /lib or /usr/lib
2. put symlinks in /lib or /usr/lib 
3. set some environment variable or something to tell
   this particular suite of programs to check the app's
   special /lib directory.

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