No idea where to start. - Filtering a grid :(

I wrote a simple app that displays the photos that I have stored in a
specified album. The view, as we would expect, just drops them all into
a grid table. In the database table, each photo has a record indicating
the path to the image, as well as 6 other values that correspond to
details about the photo.

With having a few dozen photos on the page, the next step is trying to
build a filter. On the top, I have a links that are generated for each
year that is present in the photo database table. Ideally, when I click
one, I would like to have the list refresh without refreshing the whole
page. I’d also like to build in support for multiple values.

My question is this…

Where do I start? Is this something that will require RoR with Ajax or
just DHTML layers since the photos are already loaded? Is there a
plug-in anywhere? Or perhaps a better approach? I’m stumped.