You are experiencing the expected behavior when
recsel and the other utilities from GNU recutils have been compiled from the source distribution and then used directly from their directory there or copied manually elsewhere first.
After compiling everything in the GNU recutils source distribution, several shell scripts in
utils subdirectory have names identical to the recutils tools. These scripts set up the correct values for things like
LD_LIBRARY_PATH and then invokes the actual binaries wherever they happen to be installed. You can't use these scripts by themselves, and you can't use the binaries by themselves.
To make it easy for yourself, install GNU recutils from your system's native package manager, or, if that's not at all possible, do a proper installation (
make install) of the project built from its source distribution.